A veil of smoke clouds the window of this jewellery shop in Athens, behind which Kois Associated Architects has installed display cases modelled on trees (+ slideshow).
Smoke from a dry-ice machine is pumped into the shop window, designed to give the appearance of early morning mist.
Rings, bracelets and necklaces made from precious metals and stones are displayed in glass vitrines of various shapes and sizes that sit proud of their metal frames.
The cases splay out around thin square-sectioned columns skewered between ceiling and floor near the shop's entrance.
"We wanted the user to be able to explore the space with freedom as if he has arrived in a peculiar forest," said studio founder Stelios Kois, whose past projects include a house with an infinity pool as a roof.
"We wanted the space we created to detach from the usual architectural and servicing stereotypes regarding the jewellery store," he added.
For the interior, Kois chose to use a palette of metal, glass, wood and stone to reference the raw materials used in the jeweller's work.
Panels of a pale blue-grey sedimentary rock called Ceppo di Gre cover parts of the walls. The Italian stone has an irregular internal structure that was revealed by finely sanding and polishing the surface.
In contrast to the smooth walls and reflective surfaces of the glass display cabinets, pale timber floorboards laid in a chevron pattern have a coarse appearance.
Plush purple armchairs and a sofa unholstered with sap-green fabric sit over the untreated timber floor, offering seating for customers.
A row of coppery spotlights runs overhead, featuring shades set at an angle to light wall displays. Fluorescent strip lighting illuminates a staircase leading to the jeweller's studio.
Larger, sculptural pieces and a set of scented candles covered with glass bell jars are displayed over brass plinths and wall-mounted cabinets.
These furniture pieces, along with an oval mirror with brass framework, were designed by the architects and constructed by local craftsmen.
Outside, a doorway with a blackened-oak frame is recessed into the glazed shopfront with two stone-framed display windows on either side.
In the first display window, items from the designer's new collections are shown in exhibition cases that splay out around a black metal pole. A staircase can be seen descending into the jeweller's workshop behind a grey stone wall.
In the second window, smoke is generated by a machine using dry ice and pumped into a sealed space through concealed vents.
"We wanted to reveal not everything at once but hide aspects of the shop in order create ambiguity and depth, curiosity that would lead to a stasis in a street of constant movement," explained Kois.
"Conceptually it completes the idea of the enchanted forest and animates it as it offers a sense of the early morning mist and dew," he added.
Photography is by Giorgos Sfakianakis.
Principle architect : Stelios Kois
Project manager : Antriana Voutsina
Design team: Nikos Patsiaouras, Marielina Stavrou, Konstantinos Karanasos, Alexandros Economou
Construction : Doriki