Alemagou is a bar and restaurant on the sands of Ftelia Beach, in Mykonos.
The concept is holistic, with every element of the project telling a common story and coming together to create an inspirational yet laid-back atmosphere, perfectly suited to the site.The menu revisits traditional, well-loved Greek recipes to produce simple but intriguing new dishes.
The cocktails and the music selection also offer new combinations of favourite ingredients. The architectural design is an extension of the same approach, creating an exciting reinterpretation of tried and tested, traditional building techniques.
Taking inspiration from typical Cycladic architectural elements such as whitewashed, smooth-edged houses; dry-stone walls that blend into the scrubby landscape; practical, hardwearing screed floors; and natural reed-thatched roof insulation, the familiar textures are applied to contemporary, organic forms to create a unique character.
Added to the palate are the dominating natural conditions of the site: the strong winds that make this beach a surfer’s paradise; the burning 40-degree midday sun and the harsh, dry, rocks of the encroaching landscape. Rather than attempting to block the effects of these natural forces, the design welcomes them, embracing their qualities and turning them to its advantage.
Natural reed thatch is used to create a 60cm deep, inverted field for a canopy that sways soothingly in the dissipated wind, allowing air to circulate and the space to stay cool. Throughout the day dappled sunlight filters through the reeds, lighting and shading the space simultaneously. At night down lighting continues to animate the canopy from within, creating a warm, intimate atmosphere for evening dining.
Beneath the canopy an un-interrupted topography of cool screed terraces flows gradually down from the restaurant to the sand, via the bar and lounging areas. Circulation is organized to create specifically designated areas for dining, drinking or relaxing yet their softly blurred, low-level boundaries let light and air flow naturally through the open space and allow continuous views across the beach to the sea and sunset.
The combination of these purposely designed and naturally occurring elements creates a multi-sensory architecture that sits in harmony with the environment, provides a natural, comfortable refuge from the elements and creates an exciting, sociable atmosphere.