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C_29 / ’Optimist’: Optics shop in Chalkida

The optical shop “C_29 / ‘Optimist'” is housed in a listed interwar building spanning 90m2, centrally located in Chalkida. It was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2017.

The layout of the space is expansive, stretching from the central market to a rear courtyard or patio nestled within the building’s core. Constructed during the interwar period, the building boasts a composite structure, with the ground floor featuring load-bearing masonry and the upper floors composed of reinforced concrete beams and brick filling.

The primary design concept revolves around employing a gradient technique to manipulate material textures, accentuating the interplay of light reflection and absorption. This gradient approach extends to material selection, ensuring their presence or apparent absence contributes to the spatial dynamics. Everyday objects are reimagined as prismatic sculptures, adding both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

The courtyard area is delineated by an abstract cube, while the floor plan strategically obstructs direct visual access between the courtyard and the shop. To bridge this divide, a mirrored wall positioned at a 45-degree angle in the intervening space fosters visual continuity, seamlessly connecting the two areas.

project info

Architectural Office: 314 Architecture Studio
Location: Chalkida, Greece
Lead Architect: Pavlos Chatziangelides 
Architects – Design Team: giota chala, theodora papadopoulou, stelios dilintas, andrea bratu, karoline kalionyte, angeliki kokkosi, maria nikolousi, elvin demiri
Year of completion: 2015
Type: Commercial