BOULOUKI AT THE BRIDGE| The arch, the wall and the "kalderimi"
location: Plaka, North Tzoumerka, Epirus
date: 20/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
tutors: Christos Tsekas, Pavlos Vichas, Kostas Pliakopanos, Charis Mpoumpougiannis, Giorgos Triantafyllos, Dimitris & Kostas Photis, Nikos Manthos, Dimitris Georgoulis, Kostas Tarnanas
aegis: Region of Epirus
co-organisers: Municipality of North Tzoumerka, Metsovion Interdisciplinary Research Centre
sponsors: local businesses
photography: George Dimitrakopoulos
Back in 2018, the region of North Tzoumerka came to the forefront of the national agenda concerning cultural heritage, as the reconstruction project of the ‘Bridge of Plaka’ (once the largest one-arched bridge of the Balkan area) was about to begin. It was evident to us, that the reconstruction of this significant landmark could be an ideal opportunity to provide a new impetus for an operative and participatory understanding of heritage in Greece. In this direction, we organized our first Twelve-day Stone Masonry Workshop in August 2018, on the cobbled pathway that used to lead to the historic bridge.
The main objective of this workshop was to gather young professionals from fields related to the built environment (craftsmen, engineers, artists) in a systematic approach of the traditional knowledge concerning stone, while getting to know the amazing region of Tzoumerka. Prompted by the historic Plaka Bridge, the workshop focused on the three fundamental structural parts of a stone bridge: the arch, the wall and the kalderimi, which also respond to three different building types and techniques.
Selected among more than 90 applications from Greece and abroad, the 18 participants were introduced to these building techniques while repairing parts of the old cobbled pathway that leads to the historical bridge, under the guidance of 10 experienced tutor masons1. Moreover, distinguished academics and professionals in the fields of conservation, regional development and cultural management presented several lectures to a wide audience of participants and the local community, and many more parallel cultural activities took place during the workshop. This first workshop led to the Kalderimi X2 project that was implemented in 2019.