M e g i s t i
Kastellorizo . Greece . 2006
Client Municipality of Megisti
Inspiring microcosm, allegory of travel that has charmed and fascinated human being for centuries, the insularity provides a dreamlike mysticism. In our collective imagination, the islands embody pleasure, voluptuousness and eternity. For the Greeks, they are a mirror of Gaia, a metaphor for the world. As Kastellorizo.
Kastellorizo is at the crossroads of East and West. Its vernacular architecture forms a synthesis from Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian influences and during its glorious past, popular craftsmen have built churches, schools, mosques, ports and shelters. The house grew along with the tree that shades it. The rock where the house leans has skated with it. Over the years, architecture and urbanism have been enriched by the work of successive generations. These transformations are a link between the island and the world.
Then there were wars, earthquakes, fires, looting, desertions, shaping today a fascinating and fragile heritage.
It is within this framework that this project offers a poetic-urban device, a narrative journey that offers a new reading to the ruin. The project tries to offer routes, readings, framing, breaks. Also offering special sensations in special places: an obsolete Ottoman cistern transformed into a stage, an island slaughterhouse turned into a romantic floating wooden dock, a ruined archondika becomes a refuge. Without wanting to freeze the old, without creating a nostalgic ersatz, the project tries to lead visitors to immerse themselves in the alleys of the city, to imagine its past and meet its ghosts.
This territory scale project was carried out with the support of Insula, an Unesco NGO dedicated to the conservation and development of island environments.