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June 30, 2005

Moni Agias Varvaras Rousanou, Meteora, Greece

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The monasteries in Meteora are shaped to conform to the rocks they are pearched upon. Like that of a bird's next, they blend in with their environment by using natural materials made from the surrounding area while still retaining their own identity. They do not try and reshape the environment, they let the environment shape their form. The rock on the left was left by the monks in the 14th century for the climbers of today. A beautiful thing to draw and probably an amazing thing to climb.

Posted by follett at 03:38 PM | Comments (268)

June 29, 2005

Meteora, Greece

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Posted by follett at 01:09 PM | Comments (878)

June 28, 2005

Temple of Zeus, Olympia, Greece

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The ancient Doric order is sculptural like Greek vases. Its capital the reverse profile of the Egyptian Karnack order. It is my favorite order, more gestural and voluptuous than the later orders that become to literal and pinstriped. A simplification of the Greek goddess sculptures. It is both archaic and refined, bold and strong. The capital is wafer thin while its shaft is bulbous like Egyptian shafts yet the wide fluting reduces its weight into gentle waves of light.

Posted by follett at 01:20 PM | Comments (149)

June 27, 2005

Stadium, Olympia, Greece

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I think this is the best photo I have taken on this trip. It is all about timing really. It says so much, there is a story, well several stories within this scene. I love it when people use their cell phones at historic sites. I wonder what they are talking about? Is she ordering pizza or is she updating her friends on the important things she is witnessing. "Yes the race is about to begin, it is 100 degrees here, we hope most of the kids will pass out before they reach the finish line. How we have evolved from ancient times. Am I getting mean and snobbish after traveling so long? Another important thing that happened in Sparta was me breaking a teenage Spartan skater's board. I felt so bad. They said I was the best skater they had ever met so I showed off a little. I went to ollie over my bag and broke her beaitiful skateboard. I gave her 50 Euro to buy a new one and told her let that be a lesson to her, don't get old and fat like me. I signed their broken board and they all ran off. I wonder if it will go into the Sparta museum or where they will put it?

Posted by follett at 01:42 PM | Comments (11)

June 26, 2005

Aglios Nikolaos, Mystras, Greece

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The Byzantine churches massing is womb like with a low center of gravity, not like the geometrically precise mother of all Byzantine Churches, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Also unlike the Hagia Sophia, earthly materials are used. The Byzantine churches in Mystras have many public elements added to them with arcades along their sides and cloisters in their rears. Their interiors are painted with colors that are earthly as well. H.H. Richardson would have liked it here.

Posted by follett at 01:56 PM | Comments (60)

June 25, 2005

Aglios Nikolaos, Mystras

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Posted by follett at 02:09 PM | Comments (8)

June 24, 2005

Lighthouse, Monemvasia

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The lighthouse in Monemvasia uses local stones that are over scaled for such a modest building. This disproportionate scale gives the simple building boldness while still blending in with its context. The courtyard is small and sensitive while its massing appropriate to is location. Many of the buildings in old town Monevasia use the variety of colored stone with the terra cotta bricks giving the building great texture and spirit.

Posted by follett at 02:15 PM | Comments (7)

June 23, 2005

Lighthouse, Monemvasia

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Posted by follett at 03:52 PM | Comments (8)

June 22, 2005

Monemvasia, Greece

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The most beautiful place I have been on my trip. Mother nature can be quite heroic as well. Those are some remaining castle walls at the top.

Posted by follett at 02:24 PM | Comments (15)

June 21, 2005

Another Monemvasia Church, Greece

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Posted by follett at 02:21 PM | Comments (23)

June 20, 2005

Church, Monemvasia

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One of the churches in Monemvasia is one of my favorite buildings thus far on the trip because of its simplicity. It probably was once a cistern of sorts. It them seem like the Byzantines adapted it into a church. Its siting within the Byzantine town is genius. At the back end of the cistern the wall seems to be removed with a cloister added. A long outstretched archway was then placed in order to see the beautiful blue sea beyond. At the front of the cistern a small symmetrical entry was added while the barrel vault either deteriorated or I would like to think it was purposely carved away to accommodate views into the church thus seducing the pedestrian to enter. Three brilliant masterly carved heroic gestures to something that could have easily been considered old and demolished.

Posted by follett at 02:33 PM | Comments (18)

June 19, 2005

Tomb of Agamemnon, Mycenae

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The tomb of Agamemnon I think has to have the largest header in the world. Mycenae in legend was built by the Cyclops, a giant who is the only one who could lift such large stones and headers. The tomb is built into the side of a hill outside the ancient town of Mycenae. The room seems to be built for a giant like the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs and the Hittite Kings who they traded goods as well as culture.

Posted by follett at 02:37 PM | Comments (21)

June 18, 2005

Palamidi Fortress, Nafplio, Greece

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The Palmidi Fortress has a tension of scales sitting within its courtyard. A grand ramp and a staircase sit on two of the many walls within. Large vaults line many of the other walls. Within these overscaled elements sits a small church with a pedestrian plaza in its front. The fortress hugs the hilltop of Nafplio and its massing is the most dramatic I have ever seen. The Venetian castles dart along the Greek hilltops like the many snakes in Greek legends and sculptures.

Posted by follett at 02:42 PM | Comments (31)

June 17, 2005

Palamidi Fortress, Nafplio

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Posted by follett at 02:47 PM | Comments (29)

June 16, 2005

Temple of Aphaia, Aegina, Greece

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The Temple of Aphaia has part of its inner private walls of the temple reconstructed. The arcade is the most democratic and open of all architectural walls, there are no doors, everyone is free to enter. The arcade is a wall and an opening at once. The wide fluting of the Doric columns softly reflect light across their flowing curves, like the waves of the Saronic Gulf.

Posted by follett at 02:50 PM | Comments (26)

June 15, 2005

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion

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The Temple of Poseidon outer arcade is the only element still standing of the temple. The outer arcade is the connector between that of the great plaza of the ancient Greeks, the Saronic Gulf and the inner private space of the temple. The arcade wraps around the entirety of the temple as the temples are always located on hilltops and in location that can be seen from all sides.

Posted by follett at 02:54 PM | Comments (27)

June 14, 2005

Turkish Bath, Athens

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The Ottoman Turks did not like corners. This Turkish bath in Athens exemplifies their concern. They believed bad things hid in corners. Whenever possible they try to put windows and entries in the corners of rooms to remove the corner. A very different attitude than that of the western obsession with symmetry. This leaves the walls of baths uninterrupted to reflect light from the dome above. This corner has many layers of threshold to connect two rooms that are not aligned giving the entry a dramatic sculptural effect.

Posted by follett at 03:24 PM | Comments (20)

June 13, 2005

Stoa of Attalos, Athens, Greece

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The interior arcade of the Stoa of Attalos in Athens is defined by an outer row of Doric columns, the inner wall of the stoa and a row of Ionic columns down its center. The Doric columns act as a screen reflecting light into the arcade with white marble fluting. The Ionic columns are spaced twice the distance of the Doric columns to give more depth and space to the arcade. Large wood beams span the ceiling of the arcade and marble line the floor. The arcade acts as a connector between the public spaces of the Agora and the more private functions of the stoa.

Posted by follett at 03:20 PM | Comments (22)

June 12, 2005

Stoa of Attalos, Athens

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I figured I better draw this since everyone of my designs is based on this building. The perfected building edge creating a wall to the Agora. Complete with lion heads at the top and drainage detail at the bottom, this building has been reconstructed very well. Unfortunately I was not able to get to the second floor. The siamese Ionic columns above are a nice little surprise I had seen in the books. All the details are perfected.

Posted by follett at 06:41 AM | Comments (8)

June 11, 2005

Parthenon, Athens

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The stone on the Acroplis is consistant throughout all the building. It is a dense marble that seems to absorb light. In the morning and in the late afternoon it seems to radiate the light back to the city of Athens. Walking through Athens the Acropolis will peak down the streets and reminds you of your location. Many Greeks still live and hang out near the Acropolis making the streets not as touristy as other great historic monumental areas. Although Athens gets a lot of bad rap, I think it is a beautiful city with many hills punturing the otherwise typical European modern city. At the top of the Acropolis you can look out to the Saronic Gulf and the breeze off the water gusts often through the city streets. The scupltures at the Acropolis are raw and beautiful depicting Ancient Greek life. Much more tactile than the ones in the Archaeological Museum. The sculptures and architecture depict an ancient Greek culture that was beautiful and open to experiencing all aspects of human life. With so many tourists one would hope people could absorb the great achievements of this society. They were much more advanced than our primitive modern culture.

Posted by follett at 06:51 AM | Comments (15)

June 10, 2005

Pyrgi Town Square, Chios, Greece

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The town of Pyrgi is one of the most amazing small towns I have been. Most buildings are covered in back and white geometric patterns. One feels like you are in a dream or another world. Yet Greeks fill the town square as if they were in any small Greek town. Drinking frappes to cool their bodies from the oncoming summer sun and chatting all day long. Chios is a great island and much better than most of the Greek Islands which are basically beautiful resort towns for Europe. This corner of the square is cut away on the bottom floor for a well which is no longer being used. This was typical in many of the small towns in Chios. A great place to spend your 32 birthday, enjoy Ouzo, Greek salads, squid, Greek wine and Mythos

Posted by follett at 07:10 AM | Comments (18)

June 09, 2005

Mykonos Church, Greece

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Many of the churches in the cyclades are great white sculptural objects that many enjoy standing by at sunset. The gay population here was doing a photo shoot sprawled out all over the walls of this church at sunset. I chose to leave them out as it was getting cold and windy, the crowds around the church did not seem to mind though. My first watercolor in a while, give me time...

Posted by follett at 07:21 AM | Comments (18)

June 08, 2005

Delos theater seat, Greece

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The ancient city of Delos has many beautiful stone walls and was once an important power in Ancient Greece located in the center of the Cyclade Islands. This theater seat is carved out of one piece of stone and had a nice corner reveal detail. Even the smaller ancient theaters have little reveal details, this one is slightly more elaborate but still constrained, not as extravagant as the individualized Roman seats that come later.

Posted by follett at 07:27 AM | Comments (2651)

June 07, 2005

Paros Church, Greece

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The insides of this little Greek Churches are nice and intimante. A direct little connection to the world above. The many cross symbols are overlapping here, the setting sun passing through a cross shaped window onto another cross. My battery died of course here so I had to run back before the sun disappeared, I made it.

Posted by follett at 07:37 AM | Comments (99)

June 06, 2005

Paros Church, Greece

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This churches arcade was almost as big as the church itself. A real dedication to public space and the street.

Posted by follett at 07:41 AM | Comments (11)

June 05, 2005

Naxos Statue and doorway, Greece

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The doorway in the background sits at the tip of the penninsula in Naxos. A dramatic setting with another great Greek sculpture. How nice to have good art scattered everywhere you go.

Posted by follett at 07:44 AM | Comments (16)

June 04, 2005

Naxos Street, Greece

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A corner condition of one of the homes tucked away in the old streets of Naxos town, like a still life of a milk bottle or a Greek sculpture.

Posted by follett at 07:50 AM | Comments (9)

June 03, 2005

Rethymno Street, Crete, Greece

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Rethymno is a quaint little Ventiantian-Ottoman town. Better preserved than the neighboring similiar towns of Hania and Iraklio as it was not bombed as much in World War II. This house is located at a bend in one of the narrow streets. The wood projecting element accomodates the views down the street as you can see an old man with glasses on the second floor. He just stared at me the entire time I did this drawing not saying a work. The proportions and scale of this wooden projection is sensitive to the corner condition while slipping outward and sideways to achieve more floor space for the home within.

Posted by follett at 11:20 AM | Comments (11)

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"The room is the beginning of architecture. It is the place of the mind. You in the room with its dimensions, its structure, its light respond to its character, its spiritual aura, recognizing, that whatever the human proposes and makes, becomes a life."

LOUIS KAHN, Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement Award Acceptance Speech
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