This Greek look is everything it’s cracked up to be
The new Mythos restaurant in Rosebank, Joburg, nails the authentic style with beautiful palladiana floors
Some recent 2019 design trends forecasts predicted that the terrazzo trend would evolve into palladiana, where large pieces of broken marble are laid and set into traditional poured terrazzo. The new Mythos restaurant in Rosebank Mall, Johannesburg, has made great use of such floors, proof that 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,” said Joanne Valasis of Atmos Architecture and Design who, with her brother Peter, was responsible for the store’s fresh and characteristically Greek good looks.
“Greece is still driven by handmade features and we feel that a lot of restaurants here have lost that,” said Valasis, adding that they wanted to return to their Greek roots. The solid-wood furniture was custom made by David Krynauw, the palladiana floors were hand laid, the walls hand plastered and the macramé light shades and umbrellas hand knotted and dyed in an ombre effect by Kent and Lane.
The entire restaurant was 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 from Greece and help lend the space its convincing character.
“Because white walls are usually quite stark, the movement and texture in hand plastering adds depth and warmth,” said 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.”
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,” said Valasis. Even the brass rails and other brass details were inspired by the briki (coffee pot) and stand, both 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. There is a sunny courtyard with cosy café tables for one or two, and a more private booth area.