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ADELOS | Fragments of ancient buildings, modern infrastructure and vernacular knowledge, in the farmhouse of Markos

completed project

04 DJI_0530.JPG

location: Delos, Cyclades

date: 20/10/2024 - 26/10/2024

collaboration: Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades, French School of Athens

support: J.M. Kaplan Fund

tutors: Michalis Paterakis, Yorgos Anastasiadis and Dominic Taylor(Stagones)

photography: Ionas Sklavounos (BLK) , Grigoris Koutropoulos (BLK)

drawings: Grigoris Koutropoulos (BLK)

A hands-on workshop on the relations between ancient and vernacular forms of material knowledge and sustainable models of landscape futures

The interdisciplinary team of Boulouki in collaboration with the Cyclades Ephorate of Antiquities and the French School of Athens is restoring one of the surviving vernacular farmhouses of Delos, the the so-called “House” or “Village of Markos”. The restoration will make use of traditional materials and practices, and will aim to create a new accommodation space for researchers and practitioners involved with Delos as a heritage site. To launch the preliminary works of this restoration project, Boulouki organises a seven-day hands-on workshop, between 20 and 26 October 2024.

Through an open call (details below) we will select twelve participants from a broad range of disciplines, including architects, engineers, archaeologists, conservation and landscape practitioners, artists, craftspeople, and scholars from the humanities and the social sciences. The participants will be joining Boulouki and other invited experts in the preliminary works of the restoration of the buildings that comprise the farmhouse of Markos. The goal of this hands-on involvement will be to uncover and map the unexpected entanglements of ancient, vernacular, and modern forms of knowledge embedded in this rural complex. Through this study, the workshop will seek to draw lessons on the sustainable coexistence with the landscape and propose solutions for the management of water, energy, and waste of the restored farmhouse.


δῆλος (delos)
visible, clear, evident, manifest
ἄδηλος (ádelos)
not visible or unknown
Implicit, obscure, difficult to understand



The context

Situated across the touristically overexploited Mykonos in Cyclades, the island of Delos is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the 3,43 km2 are the remains of a significant religious and commercial centre of the Mediterranean Sea, a cosmopolitan and multicultural port-city that once hosted more than twenty thousand inhabitants. The modern history of the island is marked by the beginning of archaeological excavations coordinated by the French School of Athens in 1873. These excavations revealed traces of a complex ancient urban landscape: sanctuaries of different deities and religions, stoas and markets, artisanal workshops, and a variety of residential building types, supported by an elaborate system for water infrastructure.

The same landscape preserves traces of a rural vernacular culture of the following centuries, including constructions by Mykonian farmers who rented plots of land (gr: παρτίδες, [partides]) for cultivation and animal grazing on Delos and the neighboring island of Rineia. The house of Markos is a typical example of a vernacular farmhouse, inhabited by a family whose members cultivated the surrounding land. Such farmhouses, which consist of several small structures, are particularly widespread in neighboring Mykonos and Rineia and are referred to in the local dialect as “choriá [χωριά]”, i.e. “villages”. 

The experience of Boulouki in studying and preserving traditional building practices in various parts of Greece will be employed for the transformation of this rural complex into a space for accommodation for heritage researchers and practitioners. Our preliminary studies revealed the seemingly humble ruins of the abandoned farmhouse to be complex structures, embedding a wide range of varied elements and materials: from ancient fragments originating from a nearby Hellenistic house to objects from more recent periods, such as the iron rails originally used by French archaeologists for transporting archaeological finds, and were later used by locals as supporting beams for the roof of the farmhouse. The hybrid nature of this rural complex raises questions and challenges for its restoration, both in practical and in theoretical terms. It is precisely this hybridity that presents us with the opportunity to seek links between seemingly divergent systems of knowledge (ancient, vernacular, and modern), and to map the ways in which the synergies and diachronies of those systems can produce sustainable structures of building and dwelling.

The workshop: 20-26 October 2024

The workshop will take place in Delos and will include a wide range of activities: During the mornings we will work in situ in the house of Markos, doing preliminary restoration and maintenance works. These will include cleaning of the buildings, stabilization and reinforcement of their masonry, documentation and classification of the different material elements and architectural components incorporated into this agricultural complex. The second half of the day will include tours of the island, discussions with local residents and experts, lectures on various themes (architecture and construction, archaeology, history, anthropology, as well as experiential narratives), and design sessions focused on the future of the house of Markos. Through these different activities, we will uncover aspects of the implicit (adelos) knowledge that is embedded in the landscape and we will use it to think about scenarios for the sustainable future of the restored farmhouse.

Preparatory works: Through the preliminary work that will precede the restoration, the workshop will undertake a thorough examination of the ruined buildings, with the aim of uncovering the knowledge embedded within: We will retrieve information about the building practices of local farmers and reconstruct their guiding principles. We will investigate the materials, techniques, and building standards used in construction, while also exploring how these are connected to the management of the island landscape of Delos. Finally, we will examine the 'symbiotic' relationship between vernacular architecture and ancient ruins in terms of material, formal, and technical continuity. 

Visits, walks, presentations: This hands-on exploration will be complemented by visits and tours of the landscape surrounding the farmhouse and the neighboring "House of the Fourni”, the archaeological site and museum of Delos, as well as other ruined farmhouses on the island and nearby Rineia. These tours will be led by former and present residents of Delos, local craftspeople, as well as researchers with expertise in the field of Delos. Combined with outdoor lectures and discussions, these tours will help us understand the complex relationships developed by the rural populations of these islands with the remnants of the ancient urban civilizations, and will encourage the development of new understandings of the Cycladic island landscape and the heritage of the Mykonos-Rineia-Delos island complex.

Afternoon design sessions: Through drawings, sketches, diagrams, texts, and photographs and all kinds of recording and representation media, the workshop will address the question of infrastructure and facilities of the restored farmhouse in innovative ways. By approaching the knowledge systems of these local cultures—both ancient urban and vernacular—we will trace contemporary solutions for managing water, energy, and waste in the restored agricultural complex. Particular emphasis will be placed on developing an approach that goes beyond strictly technical considerations. Following lessons from vernacular knowledge systems, we will examine “the village of Markos” in a holistic manner, integrating technical functions, practical uses, and artistic or symbolic engagements with the landscape.


We invite participation from architects, engineers, mechanical engineers, humanities scholars, archaeologists, visual artists, anthropologists, environmental scientists, craftspeople, conservators, and all related fields. There are twelve available spots for participants.

The program spans seven days and includes
Participation in the preliminary restoration work, under the guidance of experienced craftspeople with expertise in monument restorations
Participation in design and research sessions
Attendance of lectures and presentations by different researchers and experts
Visits to the archaeological site and vernacular agricultural complexes of Delos

​Important information and dates

Available positions: 12 

Application deadline: 25 July 2024

Notification of acceptance: by 31 July 2024

Workshop dates: 20 - 26 October 2024

Location: Delos, Cyclades, Greece


Participation fee

650 EUR

The fee covers participation in the workshop, accommodation (on a boat, with breakfast included) for eight nights (arrival on Saturday 19.10.2024 and departure on Sunday 27.10.2024). It also includes two meals per day and one snack, the provision of tools and educational material, liability insurance during the fieldwork and transport during the days of the workshop. The fee does not cover travel expenses to and from Mykonos and all other personal expenses; these will have to be covered by the participants themselves.

​The workshop will take place in a remote location in the rocky landscape of Delos, which does not allow easy access for people with mobility impairments. Participants should be disposed to work with their hands and under the fluctuating conditions of the island.



ph: +30211 1828348

Apply here

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