Located in the historic center of Komitini, Cafe Bar -8- is a warm and welcoming space defined by the use of concrete, steel and wood, which manages to maintain the reference marks of its past uses. The cafe is located in a two-story building that was originally constructed in 1969. Squeezed in-between unregulated buildings of that era, it is almost invisible from the road. The part of the cafe that is visible from the outside is a stoa, which comprises the lobby of the building, used to access the upper floors. The building had been deserted for several years but still carried the marks (like old bolts in the walls) from its previous uses. The space also features a high-ceiling (4.7 m internal height) and a modernistic architectural style that corresponds to the decade in which it was constructed.

The main objectives of the architects’ proposal were to sustain, as much as possible, the integrity of the space; to reveal the frame structure of the building; and to maintain its reference marks that it had acquired over time. The desired outcome of the project was to give the impression of a space of an unspecified era. Any additions to the space are in harmony with the strict and robust features of its pre-existing condition. The materials used were concrete, metal, and wood. All the featured additions — from the tables, chairs, to the bar and the wooden casings — were made by hand within the premises of the shop, making the space warm and familiar despite the roughness of the materials used. The project’s hallmark features are the big concrete bar made in two levels so it can accommodate both standing and sitting, the spacious hall with the attic and the antique piano that looks always ready to host any kind of mood. Finally, at the back of Cafe Bar -8- there is a patio with 2 large meeting tables surrounded by bookshelves for reading and work studies.

Photography: Umit Halil Ibram – Studio City