Being a gateway to and from a certain place, an airport carries all the feelings of being both a prologue and an epilogue to the same story, at the same time. An actual non-place where the clock is on a standstill, offering the traveler mental room to personally process the experience of a destination as an idea. K-Studio Architects completed the redesign of JMK Airport in Mykonos in 2021, having this exact thought in mind. The new portal to the Cycladic queen would be a connection to and a celebration of the story of the island, a thought evoking talisman for every guest.

By deconstructing the traditional components of the white-washed beauty, studying them and then translating them into a new, contemporary choreography, the new rendition would be informed by the tradition and materiality of Mykonos while, at the same time, inspired by the contemporary lives of its visitors: A blindingly white ribbon façade plays today with the surface of the pre-existing building, bouncing back and forth to break down the original mass and create a complex and intriguing series of closed spaces and semi-closed courtyards.

Constantly commuting between Athens and Mykonos, artist Yiorgos Kordakis has over the years captured the island in its multiple and diverse expressions. Moving in and out of the new airport, his creative streak urged him to shift his glance past the structure and around the spaces created by the light and shadows. It wasn’t long before, together with K-Studio’s Dimitris Karampatakis, they envisioned the airport not only as a setting, but also as a powerful background to a whole new tale, further extending the connotation of the architectural redesign itself. Culturally sensitive and discretely present, airport operator Fraport Greece offered the creative team the freedom to explore the edifice and turn it into a new art form: A project that would take the airport’s relationship with the island to a new, intangible level.

It is all here, depicted in raw form: The unforgiving Cycladic light that washes the surfaces of the airport in a warm embrace. The fearless wind that fills up spaces and gives shape to everything in a frivolous choreography, endowing Mykonos with its name as island of the winds. The vibrant contemporary culture of liberated, naked human bodies that let loose and express themselves in almost theatrical scenes. Even the noble stallions that roam the island year-round, conducting a magical musical backdrop with their gentle galloping.

Moving around the given elements, costume designer Ilenia Douladiri used long fabrics that danced to the mighty Cycladic winds, enhancing the strength and dynamics of the human body against the Mykonian curves, and the volumes created by the bold light and thick shadows.

Kordakis captured the stillness of high noon where even the wind seems to be tamed by his camera, accentuating the architectural forms and allowing them to react with the animate subjects that found their place as vibrant statues, manifesting the very soul of the island.


The end result, a series of photographs and video depicting this incredible composition, speaks volumes about a new kind of living, breathing architecture that ultimately has the power to give shape to feelings and ideas.