It is something of a challenge to transfer the special atmosphere inherent to Greece to the architecture, light or colours in a project far away from the Aegean Sea. You only have to think of all the Greek restaurants outside Greece which for a long time were designed in a somewhat old-fashioned and cliché-like fashion, using mostly cheap statues or the colours of the Greek national flag. Not that inspiring any more, to be honest. For this shop in Luxembourg those responsible fortunately decided to opt for a different design approach.
The design concept is based on the qualities inherent to Cycladic architecture plus further features typical of the natural landscape, and cleverly integrated into the existing building. The building itself is tall and narrow and squeezed between two other buildings. Very little daylight can penetrate the space through the front façade. The new shop bears the name “Pandemos Agora”, and the Greek cosmetics and food products on sale there were to be displayed in a clever and inviting way. The products vary greatly in appearance, but are very high quality and attractively packed. The product displays incorporated into the curved shelving that is reminiscent of Cycladic architectural forms lend a further layer of exclusiveness to the space and its contents. The emphasis is on white surfaces and the products displayed on the shelves are backlit aesthetically by indirect lighting integrated into the shelving. LED light seeps gently into the space along the gaps that mark the transition between wall and ceiling or floor, resulting in the kind of detached lightness and carefree feel that one associates with Greek islands. The elongated shelving system bears similarities to the rows of house fronts glowing in the light of the Aegean Sea, a touch of blue along the floor a reference to sea water. The white perforated ceiling is complemented by a blue section, with light radiating through the many tiny holes – like sunlight shining through clouds in the sky.
The designers responsible have come up with an idea to define the Greek aura the client wanted to generate for this project by applying Cycladic-like lighting effects and colours. Now the scenery and architecture typical of the Greek islands can be witnessed and enjoyed in the centre of Luxembourg. The design concept and what it is based upon works and thrives thanks to the lighting. The fact that the innovative team of architects actually come from Greece was clearly an advantage for the successful realisation of this project.
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