Mrs Flora and her daughter Marigoula in the renovated house with the family photos on the wall. Marigoula has recently taken up the art of weaving with imagination and talent.
Τhe plaster flows along the surface of the stone, without the aid of levellers, playing endless light and shade games.
Τhe floors are covered with pressed cement mortar that has built up the natural patina of time.
Coverlets and rag rugs, curtains and pillows fill the interior with a joyful, warm feel.
The arch is a key feature in the layout of the Parian house.
Τhe loom, once a fixture of every household, now one and only in the village of Marpissa.
The cupboard and the kitchen stove are covered with blue wooden doors. The lace, a touch of lightness in the strict geometry.
Mrs. Flora’s home
Text: Avgi Kalogianni | Photos: Dimitris Vranas (A.I.F.)
“Tradition has a creative role to play, for it is only by tradition, by respecting and building on the work of earlier generations, that each new generation may make some positive progress towards the solution of the problem,” writes the distinguished architect Hassan Fathy.
Is this the truth hidden in the Aegean tradition that makes it so attractive? There are at least two truths lying at the core of the Cycladic architecture.
The first truth is honesty in the construction and its materials.
Everything is obvious and nothing pretends to be anything else. Stone and red earth are the main building materials. Sand and lime bind together in the plaster, which flows along the surface of the stone, without the aid of levellers, playing endless light and shade games.
The second truth is hidden in the form, which has one single purpose: to accommodate the basic, the vital.
Spaces are measured to the human scale. Everyday utensils are placed on recessed shelves and niches cut out of thick walls. Coverlets and rag rugs, curtains and pillows handwoven by the women of the household fill the interior with a joyful, warm feel. This salmagundi of objects, utensils, household items and textiles is far from ill-assorted – on the contrary, it livens up the inner life of hospitable traditional houses such as this.
The painted wood on the doors and windows, as well as on the wall niches and the trivet standing over an open fire close with blue doorlets bearing minimal and elegant carvings. Local cedar trees (fides), reeds and dried seaweed are put to good use in the construction of ceilings, while the floors are covered with pressed cement mortar that has built up the natural patina of time. The second truth is hidden in the form, which has one single purpose: to accommodate the basic, the vital.
The house consists of a relatively large space, the living room. Separated from it by a large arched passage is the bedroom with the large alcove bed. The arch is a key feature in the layout of the Parian house as it keeps various home functions separate while reducing the width of the house, so that the ceilings can be bridged with local wood. The space under the large open arch resembles a small theatre stage where the daily household routines unfold. Here also stands the loom, once a fixture of every household, now one and only in the village of Marpissa.
Mrs. Flora Anoussaki’s home has been recently renovated while retaining its traditional architectural heritage, and her daughter, Marigoula Fyssilanis, follows in her mother’s footsteps at the loom, keeping the art of traditional weaving alive with plenty of talent and imagination.