CENTRO OTTICI , Nea Smyrni, Athens.

MOLD architects Centro Ottici - Optical Store project

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The store designed by MOLD Architects  focuses on the renovation of an optic store, dating back 40 years.

The store is a landmark of Nea Smyrni, Athens, located in a prominent site on the square by El Venizelos Avenue.

MOLD architects Centro Ottici - Optical Store project

At the heart of customer demand lays the radical renovation and overall design of a new, recognizable business brand identity. The main challenge was the volume of information assembled in a confined space of about 50 sqm a multitude of distinct infrastructure elements, counters with glasses, benches, drawers, furniture, lighting, and visible air conditioning systems, paired with a large amount of heterogeneous exhibits, all contributed to a loaded environment, which was both tiring for the visitor and failed to showcase the product. The product, in turn, included a wide range of different types, materials and color pallets.

The basic idea behind  was to remove all infrastructure elements to the greatest extent possible and reimagine the product itself as a structural element, whose repetition would produce architectural space.

The existing structure was deconstructed to its components, and the resulting eight vertical and horizontal surfaces were grouped into four pairs of surfaces, composed by different materials and serving clearly distinct operations, all of which create a resolved, easily identifiable and functional space.

MOLD architects Centro Ottici - Optical Store project

The first pair of surfaces, covering the front and one of the main sides of the store, is a metal grid, designed to host sunglasses, mirrors, and company logos. The grid design, fashioned as a metal curtain, was produced by multiplying an original unit in the scale of a pair of glasses. This rigorous structure allows for a greater degree of freedom and a reimagined exhibition of glasses.

The area opposite to the wall of the metal curtain displays the vision glasses. The existing drawers (designed to fit 500 glasses), formerly spread between all sides of the store; they are no longer used as individual pieces of furniture, but as part of a clear-cut white vertical exhibition surface. The white surface can folds back into the floor, where a three meter long metal table serves to test the glasses.

Centro Ottici designed by MOLD Architects

The third pair of surfaces is a gamma shaped mirror surface (four meters wide), which encompasses the existing attic space and almost disembodies it. This reflective surface enlarges the dimensions of the space.

Barissol lighting was selected for the ceiling and the back of the store. The lighting system follows the logic of abstraction; the existing surfaces were converted into single lighting surfaces and opted for a limited number of objects and lightning sources.

Finally, the store facade displays a double layer illuminated perforated sheet, colored white and bronze, granting the illusion of depth, as the shadows it casts can vary depending on the visitor’s standpoint and the time of day.

The metal curtain, the reflective and illuminating surfaces, the absence of color, the complete absence of shadows, the minimal presence of objects, the repetitive and reflective patterns, all contribute to the creation of an almost unrealistic space, both symbolic and eerie, with the purpose of highlighting and focusing on the familiar and exuberant product that it aims to showcase.

Centro Ottici designed by MOLD Architects

Centro Ottici – Optical Store
Location Nea Smyrni, Greece
Architectural design  and Supervision  MOLD architects
Area 50 sqm
Construction Aris Sfikas
Metal constructions qoop
Lighting design Athanassios Danilof
Photos courtesy  Voumvakis Panagiotis

MOLD architects

MOLD architects are founded in 2011 by Iliana Kerestetzi. Their practice integrates research, architecture, landscape, advanced computational design, parametric design, graphic design, interior design, construction, visual arts. Their work has been included in group exhibitions and received, various awards and distinctions.

by AN shopfitting magazine no.158 ©