Housed within a residence designed by Greek architect Constantinos Decavallas in the 1950’s, after the1956 Amorgos earthquake, this performance and exhibit space unites family heritage with contemporary art practice and residency projects.
Designing the foundation of the Santozeum was not an easy task for Decavallas. The setting in the core of Fira’s steep topography forced the architect to construct a sequence of spaces rather than an architectural object: half carved into the rocks and half facing streets and pathways, opening to the spectacular view on the caldera. Thus, the spatial sequence became a fusion of traditional cave-like rooms and modern, generous spaces oriented towards breathtaking cliff-top views. The only coherent formal gestures were the arcades framing the external building volumes on different levels. Different traces to discover: two fire places for cooking for extensive dinner parties; two decorative fire places for social gathering; a series of wall-papered guest-bedrooms with private bathrooms for illustrious visitors; the big meeting hall for the villagers to gather; a collection of furniture of the most eclectic taste in vivid contrast to the white-washed spaces.
In 2011, the Santozeum was renovated by Zurich-based architect Jörg Stollmann and his team, defining more intimate spaces of assembly and exhibition and performance spaces open to the public. Different traces of the building’s history of hospitality were discovered: two fire-places for cooking for extensive dinner parties; two decorative fire-places for social gathering; a series of wall-papered guest-bedrooms with private bathrooms for illustrious visitors; the big meeting hall for the villagers to gather; a collection of furniture of the most eclectic taste in vivid contrast to the white-washed spaces.
Following this tradition, the Santozeum will stay an ambiguous space under continuous construction, porous and protecting, hospitable and intimate, a support structure for experimentation and collective experience.
Creative Director: Ileana Nomikos Drinovan
Administrator: Sonia Georgakopoulou
Markos P. Nomikos Street, Thira, Santorini
insta – https://www.instagram.com/santozeum/
fb – https://www.facebook.com/Santozeum
yt – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnEhAUKxEkChkjn7ygRUy3g