Obscura Bar

Eleni Karimali Architect was tasked with creating an environment that would honor the history of the historic town and its preservation, while drawing patrons in for a comfortable ambiance at Obscura Bar in Rhodes.

The Obscura Cocktail Bar is located inside the medieval town of Rhodes in Greece. One of the few remaining inhabited old cities with active inhabitants, part of the world heritage recognized by UNESCO.

The prospective regular, having left the city’s hustle and bustle, enter the unique area of the Old Town.

After wandering through it and walking on the pebbled streets, he arrives in front of the main entrance of Obscura Cocktail Bar, a unique of its kind entrance, due to the carved Gothic style arch, proof to one of the many cultures that existed in this city.

Passing this arch, you enter a courtyard surrounded by isodomos limestone walls, a landmark of the medieval city of Rhodes. A commanding element in this courtyard is the wall of the adjacent building which bears examples of defensive architecture of the past.

The interior space of the bar communicates with the above courtyard through a four-leaf folding door which when open allows the interior space to accommodate the exterior. At the same time the two spaces communicate through an oversized window which thanks to a customized construction that extends upwards allows dialogue between the two spaces.

On the central axis of the interior space erected the structure of the bar. In the case of Obscura Cocktail Bar, an unattached counter was chosen as a result of the intense desire of the bar owner, a pioneer in the genre of mixologist who dreamed of creating an island (cocktail station) in contrast to our conventional known bars. Its goal is the full transparency of all activities with the regulars free to move around the area observing, watching the preparation of drinks and cocktails and giving them the opportunity to experience the participation.

At the same level as the cocktail station and along the reclining window has been constructed a counter which allows the regulars of both exterior and interior spaces, to socialize with comfort as there are lined seats on either side.

The main element of the whole decoration of the space is a tile that simulates the effect of marble. This tile bears particularly strong black geometric shades on a white background and this intense dark pattern is consistent with the name OBSCURA of the bar.

The same finish was chosen for the lining of the horizontal counters of the back bar, as well as the monolithic volume of the free stand cocktail station. The above choice arose not only for aesthetic reasons, but, mainly because this modern material is completely detached from the traditional stone with which the surrounding walls are built, therefore it preserves the authenticity of the Old allowing to highlight its beauty without attempting to fake imitation in a space of great historical gravity.

The same lining extended to cover a created wall below the pre-existing external staircase of the courtyard, forming a storage structure, the entrance of which is not perceptible thanks to the built-in door.

Design: Eleni Karimali Architect
Furniture Dealer: ALMECO
Photography: Milton Louiz