Located in Athens, Greece, Observatory concept store was designed by BOBOTIS ARCHITECTS. The “Observatory” concept store in Kolonaki, 9 Solonos street was designed to house a unified commercial “lifestyle” activity of different fashion brands. Floor-by-floor arrangement of the different sectors is supported by stairways, both rolling and conventional, and semi transparent elevators. This way, the transition from floor to floor extends beyond the simple vertical traffic function and becomes a “route” with different images and depictions. That was also one of the main design axes, aiming at the transformation of the commercial transaction to a recreational experience by means of traffic through the building.
The building exterior consists of a plan, geometrical morphological composition. Two tilted glazing surfaces joined together, with an opposite inclination, are delimited by two wooden frames and compose a plain, but clear prismatic volume.
The triangular cross section of the wooden frames hosts in its interior electromechanical installation elements, contributing at the same time to the creation of a field of view entering the building interior.
The tilted glazing and the transparent flooring on the façade create the feeling of continuity between inside and outside and between top and bottom on all floors, but also a sense of levitating on the inner side of the façade. So, the “shopping” atmosphere, characterizing the specific area in general, enters the floors through their transparency; in a similar manner, the inner atmosphere is projected to the outside.
The exterior aesthetics of the building, austere but distinctive, constitute an interruption of the aesthetic front of apartment buildings from the 60′s and the 70′s, which are characteristic of Solonos street. The recognizable character and the identity of the building mainly result from the simple composition of two rectangular wooden frames.
A building of modern architecture, theatrically projected and projecting its interior design, transforms each floor into a personal space, a private dressing room to be exact, where one can wander around and discover all the latest fashion trends within a unique lifestyle environment. Every single step in this store becomes a pleasant surprise of unique aesthetics.