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The design of the cafe Mirabilis – mixzio, located in Heraklion Crete, GR, was a motive to create a space of contemporary design that fulfills the advanced demands of the owner, in combination with traditional symbols from the Cretan rural villages. Our office succeeded in the best possible way.

The main axis was the intention to merge the past with the contemporary present by pointing out the philosophy of the coffee culture in Greece as a mean of communication, socialization and a motive to relate with each other. The coffee culture drove our design.

The curved wall-library leaves space at the front for service and seating while it delineates the servant spaces in the back, thus creating open spaces for free movement. The library is the key aspect of the design and functions symbolically as well as practically; it facilitates reading as an alternative mean of recreation and the promotion and presentation of products for sale which are different varieties of coffee. The wooden grid under the ceiling from which the lights hang reminds of the traditional “krevatina”, which is a flat grapevine arbor and was a common feature of most Cretan rural houses. The seats and the stands in front of the windows are positioned some looking outside enhancing the relation with the neighborhood and some looking inside creating cozy corners. They are also distributed in such a way that they create seats for both small and big group of people, thus promoting the friendly and informal spatial atmosphere.

Consistent with this rational, it was created an outdoor space which reminds of a contemporary form of the Cretan “veghera”, which means a night-gathering at home of friends and family for communication and recreation. The yard is covered with wood in order to highlight the existing olive trees that give a sense of peace and harmony as well as a wayout from the speed of everyday life. Accordingly, we chose colors to match this earthy style along with the use of wood and white brick that promote the sense of old and familiar. At the same time, the vivid colors on the walls and furniture as well as the use of metal enhance and prove the contemporary character of the space.

Driven by smart and innovative ideas, we have managed to create a cafe of advanced aesthetic, a cozy space that is not only profitable but also aspires to become the meeting point of the citizens of Heraklion.

Design: Lefteris Tsikandilakis

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