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Updated: Mar 29, 2022

"Under the Landscape: participatory interventions for the protection and promotion of the man-made and natural environment of Therasia"

Funded by: Green Fund

The N.G.O. Itinerant Workshop on Traditional Building Techniques – Boulouki is the beneficiary of the project entitled “Under the Landscape: Participatory interventions for the protection and promotion of the man-made and natural environment of Therasia”, which is implemented in collaboration with the Building Material Lab of the Architecture School of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and funded by the program "Innovative actions with citizens of the Green Fund”.

Brief project description:

Funded by: Green Fund

Program: Innovative Actions with Citizens

Priority axis: A3. Upgrading the Man-made Environment

Implementation schedule: from 16/8/2021 till 31/3/2022

Approved budget: 49.795,00 €

Under the Landscape: Participatory interventions for the protection and promotion of the man-made and natural environment of Therasia is an exemplary participatory restoration project in the cave settlement of Agrilia, in Therasia (Aegean), through an apprenticeship for young local craftspeople and with the participation of the local community.

The project aims to upgrade the man-made environment. An architectural complex, in particular the main cobbled pathway (kalderimi) and two cisterns embedded in the pathway, and its water management system, which reflect the inseparable relationship between natural and man-made environment, will be restored and highlighted over a period of five weeks. These elements create a significant spatial ensemble, while revealing aspects of the vernacular technology; cave construction techniques, drystone building and the preparation of waterproof mortars with local volcanic materials.

In addition, the project employs interdisciplinary research, technical training and participation of the local community, as measures of protecting the cultural environment and to achieve an integrated spatial management of the local structures and infrastructure, in response to the current environmental challenges.

It consists of three phases:

Phase I: Implementation of an exemplary participatory restoration project through an apprenticeship on the traditional building techniques for young craftspeople from Thera and Therasia, for the reclamation of the traditional building crafts.

Phase II: Creation of a Good Practice Guide for local materials and traditional building techniques of Thera and Therasia and their use in restoration projects and modern constructions within the area. The guide will be developed based on the NGO’s expertise, the practical experience gained from Phase I and in collaboration with the NTUA.

Phase III: Implementation of awareness raising activities for the local community, as well as dissemination of the produced knowledge to the scientific and technical community and to the public.

We are pleased to announce that the participatory restoration project and the apprenticeship have started on Monday 23rd August. The restoration project consists of:

  • the repair of a total of 200 sq.m. of the central cobbled pathway (kalderimi) of Agrilia, starting from the main entrance to the settlement until the entrance leading to the largest church on the island Panagia tou Lagadiou (in Greek meaning Our Lady of the Dale), a church which is a local landmark. The restoration works include clearing the vegetation along the pathway, adding dry stones where needed as well as the partial reconstruction of the drystone deck depending on the degree of wear.

  • conservation of the two underground rainwater cisterns, adjacent to the cobbled pathway, with a total volume of 30 km each. In this case, the works include the cleaning of the cisterns from the ‘carried materials’ and the vegetation, the cleaning of the surfaces from any fragile parts and application of a new suitable and compatible mortar where needed.

The above restoration works will be implemented within five (5) weeks, from the 23rd August until 24th September 2021. Six (6) young craftsmen from Thera and Therasia will be trained on the traditional dry stone building techniques and the application of theran mortars under the guidance of three (3) experienced craftsmen-trainers, two of whom are also permanent residents of the area.

The aforementioned works are the central part of the multifaceted initiative, entitled "Under the landscape: Therasia 2021-2022", organized by the NGO Boulouki. It includes a series of actions, which began in early 2021 and are expected to be completed by spring 2022.

"Under the Landscape: Therasia 2021-22" is conducted under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO and the Technical Chamber of Greece and is implemented in collaboration with the Municipality of Thera and Therasia, the Technical Material Lab of NTUA, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades, the Athens School of Fine Arts, the Lithos Laboratory of the Hellenic Survey of Geology and Mineral Exploration and the Department of Architecture of ETH Zurich.

The project is implemented through a funding scheme which includes donations and grants from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Green Fund (of the Greek Ministry of Environment), the Greek Ministry of Culture & Sports, the General Secretariat of the Aegean and Island Policy, the Technical Chamber of Greece and other foundations, as well as generous corporate sponsors.

We invite you to get to know the project through the page and to stay tuned for further announcements!

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