At the foot of Mt. Parnassus, a paternal residence revives decades of history. Stone-built, dark and mysterious, it restores experiences and memories. This building featured some kind of state monopoly, in the form that the latter used to have in Greece four decades ago. Dozens of traders would arrive there on a daily basis to purchase alcohol, matches, oil, cardboard, and salt. Today, forty years later, the dwelling is taking the form of a residence – museum, aiming to both offer accommodation and host an exhibition of collectibles. Consequently, the “monopoly” feature is revived as a place of reminiscence. Rich in attributes, enthralled by associations, subconsciously present. Registered in human memories, it becomes again a threshold of experiences.
Reconstruction of the former "State Monopoly" store into a residence-museum at the area of Gravia near Parnassus, Greece
Space gains scale, meanings and heterogeneity through sentimentality and emotional awareness of the new user. They refer to an empirical act in a continuous game of semiotics. Everything reflects a human image. Everything speaks to them, for them. The landscape is alive. The architectural implementation is conveyed through a central composite element, that of the wooden showcase. The latter features the heirloom of the “monopoly” as well as dozens of other unique works of art. The wooden self-supporting structure is mounted on a modern fixed base. The form of the compact pedestal varies across the three dimensions throughout the residence. The two elements act as a system of heterochronic references, addressing both the history of the building and the way in which the new user appropriates the space.
The look is directed by the objects and the mystical light. Touch conquers matter. The skin comprehends weight, density, temperature. The visual and haptic sensations determine the intensity of the experience and facilitate the perception of the composition and robustness of the space elements. The natural materials reveal age, while narrating the origin and the way in which they were sculpted. The years passed are reflected in the patinas of aging. The colors and textures compose a special heterotopia, giving rise to a distinct form of habitation, in terms of memory and reminiscence. With a view to physical, visual and intellectual motion in the individual parts of the building, the design aims at a holistic empirical experience, intertwined with time and memory.