BOULOUKI| is an interdisciplinary research collaborative, whose work is focused on the study of traditional building techniques and materials. In Greek Boulouki means “gaggle”, travelling group, a name evoking the tradition of travelling companies of stone masons and craftsmen. Its aim is to trace and document the living carriers of such traditional knowledge; to study and to further disseminate it through workshops and actual building projects which are organized in collaboration with local communities. Based upon these thematic axes, the group’s course of action includes conducting research, organizing workshops, conferences and cultural events; promoting projects in collaboration with local communities and their stakeholders.
So far, Boulouki has mostly worked in Epirus, a mountainous area of Greece, once celebrated for its stone masons, and also a crossroads for various Balkan cultures. Our aim is to develop a ‘hands-on’ approach of cultural heritage, through the processes of making, repairing and building, to contribute to the study of traditional building techniques as an operative field of knowledge, orientated -apart from conservation and documentation- towards contemporary building practices.
Until this day, Boulouki has developed a network of partners from major academic institutions in Greece, such as the National Technical University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Patras and the University of Ioannina, while renowned professors from various disciplines and practitioners from the fields of restoration and heritage management have given lectures and presented their work in Boulouki’s workshops.
Since May 2018, Boulouki operates as an Urban Non-Profit Company, based in Athens.
Panos Kostoulas is an architect. He has graduated from University of Patras and completed his post-graduate studies in Materials Science and Technology at the NTUA, focusing on historic mortars. Since 2012, he has worked as an architect, both as an employee and collaborator with several architectural firms in India and Greece and also as a part-time lecturer in Ooty McGan’s School of Architecture in Tamil Nadu, India. He has participated and organised workshops related to natural and traditional building techniques in Greece and abroad. Panos is a co-founder of Boulouki.
Grigoris Koutropoulos is an architect. He graduated from the University of Patras (UP), where he also worked as a teaching assistant at the department of Architecture and participated in three research programs related to cultural heritage led by the institution. He has attended various workshops on restoration of traditional buildings in Greece and Albania. During the last years, he has worked as a collaborator with two architectural firms which are focused in surveys for the restoration of listed monuments in Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Egypt. He is currently completing a post-graduate program on cultural management of monuments at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). Grigoris is a co-founder of Boulouki.
Christoforos Theocharis is a civil engineer (Democritus University of Thrace - DUTH) and has been actively involved in the field of the built environment for more than ten years. Parallel to his job in an engineering office in Vienna, he completed his Master’s degree at Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) with a major in Building Science and Technology. During his stay in Austria, he has planned and supervised the construction of several small and middle-range buildings in Vienna and its surroundings, as member of Bauklimatik GmbH. He has participated in several workshops on vernacular architecture and traditional building techniques in Germany, Austria, Albania and Greece. Christoforos is a co-founder of Boulouki.
Ionas Sklavounos graduated in architecture from the University of Patras (UP) and completed his post-graduate studies in Epistemology of Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), where he also worked as Teaching Assistant in the courses of Architectural Design and Analysis and Study of Historical Settlements and Ensembles. At the moment his pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Antwerp (UA) within the “Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Architecture and its ways of Knowing” Innovative Training Network. He is a co-founder and co-administrator of Boulouki.
Mina Kouvara is a professional architect and maker/artist by nature, and holds a MSc related to the environment and development of mountainous and remote regions (NTUA-MIRC). Her research and practice focuses on the fusion of workmanship, heritage and education in reference to the socio-economic realm. Landscape as substance (matter and spirit) and as a theoretical and institutional tool is fundamental to her methodological approach. Mina is a co-founder of Boulouki and former core member (2018-06/2020).
David Baxter MA Arch Hist: BA(Hons) T&CP: DIP UD: IHBC
David Baxter is a Conservation Professional with over 35 years experience in Historic Buildings and Traditional Architecture. He has been European Projects Director for the IHBC and Director of the International Built Heritage Conservation Training Centre at Banffy Castle Romania, training over 1600 students from 26 countries in traditional building craft skills. He has extensive experience in design/ implementation of projects funded by the EU/ International Foundations, in Community Development through Heritage, and Exchange of knowledge and Expertise at an International level. He was Director of Restoration to the Romanian Royal Family for Royal properties from 2007 -2014, and served as a Member of The Presidential Commission of Romania for Built Heritage, Historic Sites and the Natural Environment. He currently is an External Advisor to Boulouki and a Specialist Lecturer to CHWB.
Karen Knight BA, AMA, FRSA
Karen Knight is an experienced museum professional with a career focused on access to collections, buildings and research, and on the role of museums in learning at all age levels. She has a track record of achieving organisational focus and change, as well as a proven ability to influence and gain support from Government, public and private benefactors, and other stakeholders. In recent years she has worked with organisations in the UK and across the Balkans which focus on the retention of traditional craft skills and the renovation of heritage buildings.
Georgia Kanellopoulou is a Geo-Environmental Engineer (Diploma from Technical University of Crete, 2003) and has completed two postgraduate studies in Environmental Engineering (TUC, 2004) and Environment and Sustainable Development (National Technical University of Athens, NTUA 2014). She has gained a significant experience working in positions combining environmental protection, cultural and natural heritage interpretation and sustainable tourism development. She has planned a great number of projects and products of special interest tourism with an expertise in geo-environmental and cultural routes, implemented in remote and rural areas. Additionally, she has led participatory workshops involving local communities in integrated local development strategies in order to deploy sustainable territorial planning projects like Ecomuseums and Geoparks.
Maria Chassioti is an architect and holds a Diploma of Architecture with Honors from University of Patras (UP). Her research interest focuses on interdisciplinary creative collaborations through research, design and production of a series of genre-defying spatial performances and installations. She was a member of the curatorial team of the Greek Participation at the 13th and 14th International Exhibition of Architecture - La Biennale di Venezia. Since 2012 she has collaborated with a number of design offices in Athens and participated in the study of small and large scale projects in Greece and abroad. She currently continues her post-graduate program in History and Theory of Art at the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA).
Eleni Mentesidou (Athens, 1988) is a graduate of the Department of Business Administration and Management, University of Macedonia and has completed postgraduate studies in world heritage - “World Heritage Studies” - at the University of Brandenburg, in Germany. She has worked for several years as Cultural and Project Manager for the Development Department of a Municipal Public Benefit Organization. She has experience in drafting and submitting proposals as well as implementing projects with development, cultural and educational scope, for "Integrated Spatial Investments" and "Sustainable Urban Development Strategies". She has worked together with professionals of various fields, institutional and non- bodies in order to develop action plans for local cultural assets, to plan and implement cultural events and publicity actions. Eleni has been working for Boulouki as Organization - Administration Officer and Cultural Manager.
Faidon Moudopoulos Athanasiou is a PhD student at the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield. His research focuses in the early modern (Ottoman) archaeology of the Zagori mountains, NW Greece, funded by the White Rose College for the Arts and Humanities (AHRC) and the A.G. Leventis Foundation. He holds a BA in History and Archaeology from the University of Crete and MAs in Aegean Archaeology and Heritage Management from the Universities of Sheffield and Kent, respectively. His research interests range from post-medieval and early-modern archaeology to archaeological theory, the history of archaeology and cultural heritage management.
Nikiforos Meimaroglou is a PhD candidate at the School of Civil Engineering in National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and a research associate of 'Boulouki'. He holds a diploma of civil engineering (NTUA) and a MSc in “Protection of Monuments, Conservation of Building Materials” (NTUA). His research focuses on historic and traditional building materials with emphasis on earthen architecture. Part of his work has been published in international scientific journals and presented in international conferences. Along with his academic pursuits, he has professional experience in materials characterization projects from archaeological sites and monuments in Greece, such as the classical antiquity hydraulic mortars and earthen building materials from Lavrion, Attica and the historic mortars of Kaloutsiani Mosque at Ioannina city.
Ioanna Ntoutsi holds a diploma in chemical engineering and an MSc in the “Protection of Monuments – Materials and Interventions” from the National Technical University of Athens, (NTUA). She has participated as a research associate in various NTUA programs related to the characterization and the conservation of cultural heritage materials (mortars, stones and paintings etc.) and as a laboratory teaching assistant for the same institution. She has, also, worked in industries of the primary sector in the fields of minerals processing and lime production. She has participated in various workshops related to historical and traditional building techniques, as well as in excavations and field restoration projects, in Greece and in Albania. Her research focus on the study of historical technologies over material-knowledge systems under the perspective of their modern interpretation and use.
Panagiota Stylianidou (Athens, 1988) is an architect and an artist. She has graduated from the Department of Architecture, University of Patras (Diploma in Architect Engineering), where she continued with a Master Degree in “Lighting Design” (HOU). At the moment, she is completing her studies at the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) where she was introduced first with a scholarship. She works in the field of arts, architecture, sculpture, painting and lighting design. Her research interest focuses on the production of the object of art, its viewing aspects, as well as the aesthetic experience under negotiation terms of form and space. She has been a research member at the Sidney Sussex College University of Cambridge at department of Classical Art and Archaeology, in excavations in Prosilio and Thebes, Boeotia. She has been distinguished in European and international architectural competitions as a research collaborator. She has done artistic exhibitions in Greece and abroad (Sydney, Athens, Cyprus).
Anna Zacharaki is an architect. She graduated from the University of East London with a Masters Degree in Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2). Since completing her studies she has been working in diverse responsibilities and roles from the design phase of architecture to site management and construction. She gained most of her working experience on a 3-year long collaboration with a leading architectural firm in Brussels where she worked on various scale projects mostly focused in adaptive reuse and conservation. Besides her professional activities she continued to participate in workshops and side projects across Belgium, Italy, UK and Greece, further broadening her knowledge and passion for construction and materiality. Since 2019 her work has mainly been focused on a number of residential projects in Greece, mostly around the rehabilitation and restoration of traditional habitations in the volcanic island of Santorini. Today Anna is a collaborator of Boulouki.
Marble Craft, Mortars