As I haven’t yet mustered the courage to pop the question to my girlfriend, my experience of jewellery shops is restricted to the silver screen. If Stelios Kois of Kois Associated Architects has his way, that’s where the image of a stuffy man in a tight suit standing guard over imposing display cabinets overflowing with faux velvet will remain. The ‘usual architectural and service stereotypes’ simply weren’t good enough for the Athens flagship store of pre-eminent Greek jeweller Ileana Makri. While the grey sedimentary rock and raw concrete that dominates the interior is perhaps the most eye-catching divergence from tradition, it’s the way the space is used that is noteworthy. Treasure hunters can stroll wherever their fancy takes them to admire gems displayed on trees made of black metal, bronze and glass – materials chosen to set off the radiance of Makri’s creations. Sadly, Kois needed glass to protect the fruit of the trees: it seems that there’s no getting away from some stereotypes.
Photos Giorgos Sfakianakis