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Renovation

A demanding renovation / restoration, virtually from scratch up, was just completed. The renovation project required the interaction of archaeologists with architects, civil engineers and craftsmen.

Construction works were difficult. All building materials had to be carried by hand through Chora's narrow lanes. This was, though, the easy part of the project. The difficulty and challenge was not simply to imitate the old mansion but to recreate its workmanship.

The mansion's intriguing architectural structure and original layout have been fully maintained and the living spaces have been adapted to modern aesthetics and standards. Old marble surfaces were smoothed and polished and damaged segments were replaced with fresh materials. Fine visual elements were incorporated into the layout and still a balance between the old and the new structures and materials was achieved. Much work had to be done by hand, calling for an expert eye and a sensitive touch.

Now the property, with a new infrastructure in place, claims to be one of the most comfortable and modern settings in Kythera. The renovated property includes a 2-storey house and a separate, independent 2-room guest house. Being one of the largest properties in Chora, the mansion is endowed with a spacious yard – rare in Chora, where the houses in the narrow pathways are small. The yard encompasses a complex of renovated small structures, among them the tiny chapel, a reminder of the mansion's heritage and a covered terrace, now serving as gathering area.

Our acknowledgement and appreciation goes to a number of people for their invaluable input in the successful completion of this renovation project. The 1st Authority for Byzantine Antiquities was responsible for a series of permits, aiming to safeguard that the restoration would be in line with the mansion's history and Chora's architectural heritage. The Authority's passionate team deserves the highest respect for its dedication and vision. Nicholas Dorizas, who has, as an architect, a remarkable record of more than 20 renovations of traditional and neoclassical properties, was instrumental in applying effective solutions, in coordinating works and in supervising craftsmen. Last but not least, Manolis Charos, a renowned Kytherian artist, and his wife Franca Papandreou, a London inspired designer, brought a fresh and creative perspective to this project by combining their deep understanding of the Kytherian architecture and tradition with their professional experience.