Located in the most advantageous setting in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, under the famous arcade of Aristotelous Square, O13 - Ocean thirteen is the newly completed cafe bar by Greek interior-architect Minas Kosmidis. Offering unrivalled views of the Thermaikos Gulf, the city's port and the endless Mediterranean Sea which plays a significant role in the design, the rhythm and the movement of its waves symbolize the fleeting trends of each epoch encapsulated in the cafe's interior.
Minas Kosmidis' experience in dining and entertainment establishments is evident through his use of colour and patterns which add textures and symbolism to his work. There are strong influences from the Italian modernist period and the work of Gio Ponti, in the forms and diverse materials he uses that portray an affordable unpretentious luxury. The interior is decorated with bold geometric shapes, reminiscent of 1960s fashion and textiles. The rhombus, in particular, engulfs its walls and fabrics in the vibrant blue hues of the sea and sky, and passionate reds that stand out against the wooden surfaces of the furniture. Although walnut has been used throughout as a conventional construction material, there are moments where it takes centre stage as it recreates the scaled surfaces of fish shimmering in the sun’s rays.
Another recurring element is the oxidized bronze surfaces that appear as though time has gently left its mark, often resembling golden sunsets falling on the seafront of Thessaloniki sometimes transforming into glistening reflections of the fish under the stirring sea. The shutters all around match the earthy tones of the floors and ceilings, once again highlighting Mediterranean architecture and fashions. The modernism of the 50s and the Italian design of the 60s are a clear inspiration for the selection of furniture and fixtures. Minas Kosmidis chooses tables and chairs that don’t overpower the space, but rather express a slight nostalgia for the carefree era of the past, with the help of iconic elements such as the hanging 2D lighting textures of a Fiat 500 car and a Vespa.
All in all, O13 not only succeeds in embedding the element of water into the space, through its large glass façade and the clever use of textures and materials but also transports us into a whimsical world of colour and nostalgic finesse.