A Former Canning Plant Is Transformed Into A Cultural Center In Nafplion, Greece

published in: Exhibitions, Art By Despina Pavlaki, 28 October 2012

Pin It

photo © Ioanna Nikolareizi

You know how it goes: give a seaside town a reputation for stunning views and sprawling wrap-around countryside, and it will soon be infested with tourist shops. Nafplion, a gorgeous little port city in eastern Peloponnese, had gained a particular reputation for worry beads (locally known as kobologia), with a museum to match. Taking a majority stock in local retail outlets, there was enough worry beads to get you seriously worried: wasn’t there anything else worth bringing back to commemorate your visit? 

Enter Florica Kyriacopoulos, a businesswoman and a renowned art collector, who filled a void in the local artisan market while fulfilling her own lifelong dream: to enrich the cultural life of Nafplion with a venue exclusively dedicated to creativity. Fougaro, a former pre-WWII tomato cannery, opened its doors to the public on October 28, boasting an Arts & Humanities library, a workshop, a café, a concert hall and, most importantly, an exhibition hall.

Currently taking up residence in its ample square footage is 'Craft Fair #1', an inspired selection of handmade design objects by 56 artists and designers, on display till December 29, 2012. And the best part is, everything’s for sale!

Bought at an auction in 1997, the newly christened Fougaro - which literally translates to chimney stack, alluding to the venue’s pedestrian past - expands across three building complexes, a mammoth project that’s been in the works for the past 15 years. Kyriacopoulos, heiress to S&B Industrial Minerals SA, has always had an affinity for industrial spaces and made absolutely sure the defunct plant was 'affectionately' renovated. Future additions include an open-air movie theater, a concert hall and an amphitheater.

photo © Ioanna Nikolareizi

photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Arts & Humanities library
photo © Ioanna Nikolareizi

photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

The Exhibition Hall
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

As for 'Craft Fair#1', the cultural center’s major attraction, it will be followed by plenty of similar handcrafted shows to come. ''Inviting 56 different people to make something with their own two hands is a real creative stimulant,'' says Florica Kyriacopoulos. ''This kind of output is a lot more relevant to our lives than, say, high art''. The exhibition, a veritable explosion of texture and color, was curated by Dimitris Xanthoulis and will be replenished throughout its duration.

Locally sourced treasures include the ghostly, pared down ceramics of Margarita Ekklisiarchou, set designer Olympia Sideridou’s farm-fresh bounty of plush pumpkins, Polytimi Biliona’s army of colorful shot glasses (no two are alike), Nana Stepanian’s plastic-fantastic found art, Nikos Haritakis’ blowing glass baubles, Laura Venizelou’s clashing gold-and-grey ceramics, Petros Mantouvalos’ Nomura Jewelry (think spiky, goth-inspired silicone designs) and Dimitris Brazas’ upcycled light fixtures, among many, many others.

>>>
Fougaro was restored by E. Sakellaridou + M. Papanikolaou & Associates, Elias Tsoulogiannis, Fani Tsoulogianni, Johnny Seefelder, the dmd team and Ioannis Papagrigorakis & Associates.
The cultural center is open year-round and is situated about 2km away from the center of
Nafplion.

Exhibition Hall Interior
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Laura Venizelou ceramics & jewelry
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Nana Stepanian upcycled art objects
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Nana Stepanian upcycled art objects
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Nana Stepanian upcycled art objects
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Maximos jewelry
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Margarita Ekklisiarchou ceramics
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Tzannis Sifneos furniture and homeware
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Maria Grigoriou paper jewelry
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Nikos Haritakis glassware
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Nomura silicon jewelry by Petros Mantouvalos
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Giannis Mamoutzis ceramics
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Kristina Pitsilidou jewelry
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Polytimi Biliona pottery
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Dimitris Brazas upcycled light fixtures
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Olympia Sideridou plush pumpkins
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Apostolos Hasiotis upclycled light fixtures
photo © Costas Voyatzis for Yatzer.com

Mark Hadjipateras sculpture
photo © Ioanna Nikolareizi

sources:

Fougaro

  • friend
    Nadja P. | 2012-10-28 12:31:23

    Fougaro is excellent. Lovely presentation by Yatzer. Thanks a lot.

  • friend
    Alex | 2012-11-01 15:21:09

    This looks excellent! Hope it encourages people to start visiting Nafplio again...

  • friend
    Yiannis Sotiropoulos | 2012-11-01 18:41:35

    Fougaro is a very very nice place to be or to visit when you come to Nafplio. Nafplio was the first capital of Greece and deserves places like Fougaro and I hope in the future to see other efforts like this. Many thanks to Mrs Florika Kyriakopoulou for her love and pacience she showed to become the Fougaro!!!! Yatzer thank you also for the very good presentation of Fougaro!

  • friend
    lovedesigninspire | 2012-11-20 15:49:39

    Love the pictures, the transformation looks great! I'm planning on visiting Greece early next year, will definitely be on the list of places to visit.

  • friend
    Gabi Papanikolaou | 2014-02-16 15:45:02

    I went there yesterday : Yes, I recommend a visit there , it s worth while

  • friend
    Catharine | 2013-04-27 14:46:08

    could you tell me which ceramist to visit in Krete and Santorini this May?would love to hear your suggestions.

  • friend
    Gabi Papanikolaou | 2014-02-16 15:42:32

    I went to Fougaro yesterday and I am enthousiastic about this wonderful space : very well reconstructed, excellently designed details, well chosen materials , and the whole place gives some hope in these difficult times. Congratulations for the whole team! papanikolau architect.

Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you. - {x}

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the * required information where indicated. Please also rate the article as it will help us decide future content and posts. Comments are moderated. Please no link dropping, no keywords or domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise!