On the Small Greek island of Mykonos, with its whitewashed buildings cropped against the deep blue sea, enticing tourists indoors is no mean feat. But iMuseum, where you can buy an exact marble replica of a Bronze Age statue, is doing just that.
“In iMuseum, visitors have an experience similar to that found in museums,” says Thanos Zakopoulos, whose Milan firm, CTRLZAK Art & Design Studio, was approached to design the space after the owners of the concept shop saw its earlier work (which includes tableware made from sacramental bread, and various multi-sensory installations around Europe). With 300 versions of Greece’s most celebrated artifacts – plus a small selection of modern items inspired by antiques, including silver cufflinks etched with designs originally drawn in the third millennium BC – the 80-square-metre shop draws from archaeology as well as Greek history.
In the central area, for example, asymmetrical white display units are inspired by ancient foundations uncovered during excavation. The wooden plank pathways inset into the Greek marble flooring refer to the makeshift pathways at archaeological sites, and the custom brass pendants are arranged to evoke the grid layout used on digs. Meanwhile, the wavy inlay in marble, brass and olive wood set into the back wall makes a strong cultural reference. As Zakopoulos says, “Olive wood has a special place in Greek history.”