Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Scary Santorini

Santorini is one of those greek islands that have become so polular its actually scary. The whole island is built up in a totally random and uncaring way, full of buildings that are actually garbage. The view towards the volacano is of course fantastic blah blah blah, and funnily enough the most beautifull spot on the island is a garbage dump with a spactacular view. Part of the dump is used as a moto-cross training track and there seems to be an abandoned factory on the side. The slopes towards the dump look like giant earthwoks, sort of like Michael Heizers' Double Negative in Grand Canyon but with a fabulous view of the Aegean. The vernacular architecture is a kind of tubular-dome thing which I think was originally derived from the excavated houses that were easy to build inside the lava. Now they just copy the tubular dome in concrete, in a kind of pre-fabricated architecture that is cast in place but pre-designed. Some good examples of this exist in the National Bank complex in the main city, a relic from the 60's when Greece invented it's own brand of vernacular modernism otherwise know as critical regionalism. If I wasnt on vacation and in a crappy little internet cafe, I'd write tons more on this, but this funny photo of a too-thin-to-inhabit tubular domino will have to say the rest.