Nestled in the heart of Athens, only a few steps away from Syntagma square, surrounded by a myriad of ethnic, street and organic eateries on Nikis street, Holy Llama pioneers a vegan cuisine and wishes to show how indulgence can be plant-based.
To design a store that stands out in one of the most dense districts of downtown Athens, surrounded by bold graffiti and busy restaurants, was a challenge we happily accepted. In tune with the brand's own ethos, the design had to become visible not by becoming louder, but through a soft yet playful approach.
The design finds inspiration in the brand’s visual identity and turns it into a holistic spatial experience that is warm and welcoming. The steel frame glass facade, colored in the distinctive cypress green shade of Holy Llama's logotype, invites natural light into the store while offering a clear view of the interior from the street.
Oak wood features prominently in the architectural design, enhancing the flooring, furniture, and wall paneling to create a cohesive and welcoming atmosphere. At the heart of the space, the focal point is the service counter, constructed from wood and adorned with white marble, drawing the eye with its glass displays framed in solid wood.
This presentation underlines the organic ingredients of the products while evoking nostalgia through elements reminiscent of 1940s design. Additionally, patterned tiles define the seating areas both indoors and on the terrace, lending a vintage charm complemented by luxurious brass accents. Extending seamlessly onto the terrace, the consistent use of oak wood fosters a fluid transition between interior and exterior realms, further enriching the spatial experience.
The display at the back separates the kitchen from the dining area and goes all the way up to the ceiling while elongating the space. The light behind the ribbed glass catches the eye and highlights the merchanidise on the shelves, thus providing a shopping nook that's theatrical and with a touch of drama.
Nature is brought inside and plays an inherent role in the design same as the foliage motifs are an important element of the Holy Llama logo. Zamia plants, golden cane palms and dracaenas grow in the large built-in planter on the mezzanine, while ivy drapes over the shelves and disguides the industrial rigidity of the metal grid.
To make the narrow interior seem larger, a number of design elements were applied. The width of the store is visually strecthed by the use of mirrors behind the wooden panels alonside the side wall, thus harnessing the material's reflective abilities to create the illusion of a bigger and brighter space. The glass facade produces a similar effect with regard to the length of the space, as it allows for the indoors to open up and for natural light to freely enter the bakery.
Last but not least, the large marble sink in the middle of the space, providing easy access to free water for all customers, becomes a signature design element and a focus point that embodies the essence of the Holy Llama universe, one that is ethical, humanistic and nature-powered.