Santozeum is located in a residential building designed by Greek architect Constantinos Decavallas in the 1950s after the 1956 Amorgos earthquake. It is a performance and exhibition space that combines family heritage with contemporary art and housing 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.

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 remain an ambiguous space, constantly under construction, permeable and protective, welcoming and intimate, a support structure for experimentation and collective experience.

Founder and Director: Ileana Nomikos Drinovan
Administration: Sonia Georgakopoulou

Santozeum, Markos P. Nomikos Street, Thira, Santorini

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