NUMBER 3 is the Charm

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Published December 18, 2008

 

For the last four years, architect Dimitris Papadopoulos and graphic designer Yiannis Kondilis have collaborated with Comme des Garcons in Athens, Greece, for the brand’s guerrilla store project, in which they sabotage dense (but often vacuous) urban neighborhoods with chic wares. The project follows the closing of two earlier guerrilla stores on a busy Athens street, the last of which shuttered its doors on September 30. At that time, the duo decided to create their own store (in partnership with CDG) in the existing space, aptly title NUMBER 3.

The store is undercover on one of the busiest streets in Athens, with no storefront and entrance only by a small door. Visitors ring a bell to gain entry and use a small, dark ladder. The designers wanted to do something very bright to contrast the first two installments of the store, and without any specific plans other than brightness. The result, describes the architect, is that “when you are entering the store you can go blind!”

The team rarely uses plans. Says Papadopoulos, “We believe that a store is happening through a series of ‘accidents.’ Even if you have plans, you can’t follow them, because there will changes in the process of making it.” They decided that a total renovation would compare with deleting their past, so they created an unfinished feeling in all the walls. Some parts of the store are totally new; some are unchanged.

Yiannis Kondilis, Dimitris Papadopoulos


Having decided to design the entire store themselves, Papadopoulos and Konidilis even hand-stenciled the shopping bags. The store stocks: a wide selection of all Comme des Garcons lines and accessories. In the new year they will add a new CDG line GANRYU COMME des GARCONS, Fumito Ganyru (says Papadopoulos of “he is young and we like him—he’s kinda dark), PLAY for kids, Medicom with [email protected] and Alakazam (of Will Sweeney and Susumu Mukai). More is on its way.

Number 3 is located at 16, Patriarchou Ioakeim Str., Athens.