Can a cultural space combine art and drinks? Or mix contemporary design and folk 19th century architecture? In the center of Athens at the flea market of Monastiraki, there is an old abandoned building that hosts The Art Foundation, aka T.A.F., with a yard that invites people to meet throughout the day and night.
Eight years ago, a group of collaborators discovered an abandoned building in the center of Athens. This building, a fine example of 19th century Athenian architecture, was built in 1870 during King Otto’s reign and used as prison. Later, it was a place that housed 13 families. There, they founded T.A.F., an independent space that is accessible daily and open to experimentation, research and collaborative culture.
The building has the typical structure of a 19th century Athenian construction. Its core is the central yard that is surrounded by one-story or two-story buildings. The yard was a protected open space for the residents to interact. In continuation of this logic, T.A.F. uses this space as an artistic collaboration with the tagline “making culture together.”
Inside, the building includes a gallery, bar, shop and project rooms. In the gallery, both curatorial propositions and open calls to artists, curators and institutions are presented. Beside the exhibitions, one can find workshops, performances, screenings, presentations and open discussions, and theatrical plays for site-specific installations. T.A.F. allow creative professionals to book one of the six rooms and use them for events, meetings, video installations, exhibitions, pop-up stores or other such projects. The shop was created in collaboration with the platform “It’s all, oh so souvenir to me!” in the summer of 2017. The Oh!@TAF focuses on products from more than 80 Greek designers that try to introduce new aesthetics and concepts in the Greek souvenirs.
T.A.F. bar is located in the yard and features a roof for protection against the sun or the rain along with trees to create the sense of an outdoor environment, in contrast to the old and worn walls of its surroundings. The bar is open for coffee or drinks from morning until late in the evening. The bartenders create a new cocktail list every season inspired by the art projects of the gallery. During a film poster exhibition, the bar served cocktails inspired by the films presented! Its award-winning cocktails have turned the bar into a must for both locals and visitors. The menu serves dishes with ingredients from small Greek producers. All of this is complemented by music to enhance the atmosphere. The jazz-inspired DJs in particular are famous for their musical experimentation.
The T.A.F. bar is very popular among locals and it's often hard to find a table. However, once you have found one, you won't be disappointed. The interior and the atmosphere are always inviting!