Wine museum in Thera
project: transformation of existing
winery to a wine museum
location: Thera, Greece
floor area: 174 m2
status: complete study
design: km architecture studio
principal architect: Myrto Matthaiou
The unique ecosystem of Santorini (Thera) produces mainly wine. The significant growth of winemaking on the island, contributed to the creation of a specific architectural type of winemaking-units (traditionally called in Thera 'canava').
The winery, dating from the mid 19th century, is situated in Megalochori (a major wine-region of the island). It consists of four partly underground buildings, carved in the vertical forehead of ground pozzolana and features characteristics of traditional local settlements.
The complex has been abandoned since the early 1980s. Although it is well-maintained, specific buildings require immediate intervention.
Aim of the project was to reconstruct the complex and revitalize the winery while creating a wine-museum which would complement the existing complex.
The study included surveying, collecting bibliography and historic data and analyzing typological, morphological features of the building in relation to Thera’s architecture.
The concept behind this project was to highlight both the architecture style of the complex as well as the traditional wine-making process. In this context, the main areas will function not only for exposing the historic wine-production and storage, but they will also host the traditional wine-making process.
Proposal’s key characteristic was to reconstruct the complex respecting the mentality of the structure and applying the usual practices of the local builders, along with using compatible to the existing structure materials.