Cluster Architects designed ΛΟΚΑΛΙ all day café bar restaurant in Psyri neighbourhood creating a sophisticated yet intimate atmosphere adaptable to different types of guests, moods and seasons blending the dynamism of metropolitan drinking with the relaxing green hug of a picnic in a historical park or a dinner in an ancient courtyard of a now-vanished Athens.
-text by the authors
ΛΟΚΑΛΙ is located in the heart of Athens, Psyri, in that still underground and postindustrial part that manages to combine its working-class past with new trends. This Greek modern all day café bar restaurant blends the dynamism of metropolitan drinking with the relaxing green hug of a picnic in a historical park or a dinner in an ancient courtyard of a now-vanished Athens. The main goal when designing ΛΟΚΑΛΙ was to conceive a sophisticated atmosphere but within everyone’s reach. A place with blunt personality but adaptable to different types of guests, moods and seasons; a place to take a break and indulge in the pleasures of the palate.
The challenge was to avoid overlapping elements, to strip the place of what could appear artificial, to make it familiar, intimate.
All without giving up the precious industrial background, namely the red brick, the metal elements and the terracotta tiles, all in full harmony with the local cuisine and the elegant cocktails. The interiors are characterized by a mix of pop-art that is not austere but sober and a clear reference to recent tradition through the use of loom rugs as main fabric to the sofas and the pillows.
Meanwhile the courtyard conjures scattered childhood memories through the use of iconic Athenian furniture such as the chair of the open-air cinema with the orange string, the director’s chair and the all-time classic green metal furniture of Zappeion. All these choices merge in a way that does not distract the visitor from what he/she eats or drinks but that teases him/her without intrusiveness.
The most crucial achievement was to give back to nature what the concrete had covered. What was once a parking lot full of concrete and tires is now a garden, or rather, a green courtyard. Here stands a new place now in total contrast to what it was before, aimed at returning a green lung, a kind of visual oxygen, not only to the visitor, not only to ΛΟΚΑΛΙ but also to the neighborhood. Through the foliage of the trees and the large industrial windows, the light of the sun and the moon enhances the details of the written history but above all of the history that is yet to be written.
Facts & Credits
Project title To ΛΟΚΑΛΙ
Typology All Day Café Bar Restaurant
Location Psyri, Athens
Area 530m² (200m² interior, 225m² courtyard, 100m² terrace)
Year of completion 2020
Interior Design, Landscape Design Cluster Architects
See, also, Mikio House in Rethimno, Crete by Cluster Architects, here!