The project was the design of the culinary organic products shop Amin in the town of “Ouranoypolis” located on the northern lower side of mount Athos. Amin in Greek is a declaration of confirmation and is a word highly associated with Greek orthodox tradition.Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in the region of Chalkidiki in northern Greece. It is a World Heritage Site and Territorial autonomy self-governed state in the Greece Hellenic Republic. Athos is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constadinople patriarch of Constantinople. Today Greeks commonly refer to Mount Athos as the “Holy Mountain”.
The location has an atmosphere which is saturated religious spirituality. It was the serenity and the spirit of the place we wanted to capture and communicate through our design. We chose to reject the schema of a super spectacle. We wanted to create a form and space that would breathe and allow for contemplation, one that does not dazzle nor haze the visitor. We chose to have monochromic persistence, a series of clean unobstructed lines, and very few objects in order not to cramp the already restricted in size space but instead open it up as much as possible.
The quality of light was a very important aspect of the design. We wanted ambient diffused mellow lighting conditions in order to illuminate but not to disturb and confuse. Hidden and visible lighting systems highlight the products and cast mellow vanishing shadows that accentuate the spatial features.
The careful choice of the very few objects besides the merchandise was of crucial importance in order to communicate feelings and images connected to the memory and the history of the place. A blend of modern and more traditional imagery manages to convey the spirit of the new shop.
Light, form, imagery synthesize the identity of ‘Amin’. We tried to avoid replication of the authentic eastern orthodox characteristics and we based our efforts on allusion to communicate ideas and emotions. We wanted to present a contemporary view of the monastic character, highlighting the features of simplicity, serenity, restrain and contemplation.