A confectionery and pastry shop in Athens, Sweet Alchemy by Stelios Parliaros,won the first prize as Best Retail Space, at the Travel and Leisure Design Awards 2013 in New York. A distinguished jury from the design world (Deborah Berke, Rebecca Minkoff, Fine Collins, etc.) chose the best of the year among 10 different categories.
Atmosphere of Mystery.
According to Travel+Leisure website, Parliaros’ pastry shop creates an atmosphere of mystery. He presents his delicacies in glass-topped cases in a space that feels a bit like a sorcerer’s workshop. Jars, bottles, bins, and trays of candy, jam, chocolate, and pastry fill the rooms, which are lit dramatically from above. Abundant sunlight is refracted through a dense grid of tall metal shelves. It highlights the shop’s many unfinished-wood and concrete surfaces and the very refined sweets on display.
Who designed it.
The pastry was designed by Stelios Kois for Kois Associated Architects. Sweet Alchemy is characterised by the high degree of transparency which was manipulated in order to diffuse the light and filter the optic penetration. The role of light was highly regarded and thoroughly studied since the beginning. The goal was to create a unique solution for the particular location and user. Light and shadow change throughout the day giving the space a unique atmosphere every moment. Serenity is followed by tension and drama.
This is the first time that a Greek shop has won first place in this category after having competed against rivals such as Zaha Hadid. How sweet it is.