Interview: Nikos Zappas | Photo: Dimitra Katsaouni
The cooperation with Tsarouchis shaped me both culturally and aesthetically
With Paminos we first met ten years ago at Piso Livadi, drinking mint liqueur with soda. Three years ago, I had the honour of living for one summer in one of his houses, the one that is above his own. This experience -a very edifying one for me was the important starting point of a visual quest. Paminos soon became a father figure; since his critique was not limited to the Sailors I was preparing but embraced every aspect of my life. Today I conclude the essence of his teaching; his insistence on Hellenism source of internal freedom.
Mr. Paminos you have been in Paros for the past 25 years and you spend most months of the year here. How did this love begin?
In 1992 I bought a piece of land at Piso Livadi with an astounding view. However, this was only the beginning, since that time I have built 22 houses. Respecting the Cycladic architecture, in harmony with the environment and with handmade love, here at Paros I turned my profession into a love affair.
In your opinion, how should a house in Paros be?
First of all, its aesthetics should be different from that of an urban house. It should use what nature offers -openings, doors and verandas- because in the summer months life is outside and not inside.
The interior should serve only the daily needs, not anything superfluous but what is necessary. I believe that aesthetics is what the user can understand according to his culture.
You have worked as an architect but also in the art world and specifically in the sector of set design with a long cooperation with Yiannis Tsarouchis. How did this cooperation influence your later work?
My acquaintance with Tsarouchis and my work with him, both in visual productions and in theatre performances were very important. We cooperated from 1962 to 1989. This cooperation shaped me both culturally and aesthetically. I tried to blend all this knowledge in the style of the houses I built in later years.
In our era, we can see the invasion of the globalised aesthetics in architecture. I’d like your comment.
First of all, with the word architecture we mean the space and the existing aesthetics of the landscape -the aesthetics should be in harmony with the landscape. It is also important that it should serve the needs of those living in the place.
Greece is famous for its light and the presence of the sea. Unfortunately, modern architecture is based on the industrial product; the handmade construction is rare in our days and for this reason wherever we find it we admire the folk mastery of the builders.
What are you preparing now?
I am about to finish five Cycladic houses, two at Ano Syros and three at the village of Kampos at Tinos. I also work on a project for turning the abandoned hotel of Marpissa into a cultural space (open air cinema, exhibition spaces and art workshops).
I have submitted a preliminary study to the Municipally which is the owner of the building, but unfortunately the Municipality will issue a tender invitation for its exploitation, due to a lack of funds. My proposal is that some of us -artists and locals- should shoulder the expenses for a culturally oriented exploitation, something this place needs badly, especially nowadays.