You might recall that in our recent 2019 design trends forecast we predicted the terrazzo trend would evolve into palladiana, where large pieces of broken marble are laid and set into traditional poured terrazzo. Well, we were spot on. When we stumbled upon the newest outlet of Mythos restaurant in Rosebank Mall, and noticed their terrazzo palladiana floors, we found proof the trend is taking off in SA.
While it’s not a new treatment of terrazzo, palladiana is something that has rarely been used in contemporary settings. “If you go to the Greek islands, you’ll often see these floors, but there they regularly use stone. Here we opted for marble for a more contemporary look,” explains Joanne Valasis of Atmos Architecture and Design who, together with her brother Peter, was responsible for the store’s fresh and characteristically Greek good looks.
The brand is rolling out their new look and feel with the opening of the Rosebank store, as well as the redesign of their original Fourways Design Quarter outlet. For co-owner Helen Campbell, this meant a fresher, up-to-the minute aesthetic and a more personalised stamp on each store. “Greece is still driven by handmade features and we feel that a lot of restaurants here have lost that,” says Joanne Valasis, adding that they wanted to return to their Greek roots. Beyond their skill as a formidable design team, the fact that Joanne and Peter are Greek meant they’d bring an authentic approach to the restaurant’s design.
Much of the store’s new look is about supporting artisans and craftsmanship. For example, the solid-wood furniture was custom made by David Krynauw, the palladiana floors were handlaid, the walls handplastered and the macramé light shades and umbrellas handknotted and dyed in an ombre effect by Kent and Lane.
The entire restaurant has been fitted out by local artisans, apart from a few small decorative items, such as the glass evil eyes, the metal bells and the artworks in the booth section, which were sourced by the team from Greece and help lend the space its convincing character.
An unprecedented amount of thought has gone into the finer details here, which belies the typical franchise model. “Because white walls are usually quite stark, the movement and texture in handplastering adds depth and warmth,” says Valasis. “It’s part of the essence of the store, as well as a broader global movement we are referencing. This way, you can visit a franchise, but it’ll still feel personal and homely,” she adds.
The timber beams also echo original Greek homes. “Old houses in Greece use wooden trusses and heavy wooden doors, so we’ve tried to bring back those tactile elements in a subtle way,” Valasis adds. Even the brass rails and other brass details were inspired by the briki (coffee pot) and stand, both proudly Greek items that are part of everyday life.
Each of the Mythos outlets has its own Greek myth that sets it apart from the others. The Rosebank store follows the story of Troy, with two large walls tiled and handpainted in blue and white, depicting the arrival of the Trojan horse and the Battle of Troy. The work of Effects by Elaine, this Insta-worthy wall cleverly activates a previously dead space on the side of the restaurant, which has also been opened up by way of stacking doors. Even in its layout the store is dynamic and offers customers a variety of options from the sunny courtyard and the cosy café tables for one or two, to the more private booth area.
• Call the Rosebank outlet on 011-268-0916.