Matina Galati, Maria Sotiropoulou & Loukas Fikioris Restore of the Courtyard Area of Metamorfosi Chapel, Messinia
Text by the architects
The purpose of this project is to redesign the landscape area around the Metamorfosi chapel, which is located in a mountainous region of Messinia in Greece. It consists of the courtyard area in front of the Byzantine church with the two existing fountains and the surrounding landscape with the centenarian plane trees.
This entire region is rich in natural resources and water due to the intense altitude. In the area there is the strong presence of the physical element in conjunction with the historical - religious element that is emitted by the existence of the chapel. The element of water that flows in the two existing fountains gives the space a strong sense of spirituality and calmness. The aim is to create a small park that feels like a natural extension of the site. The handling of architectural elements and materials should highlight the history and the sense of the region in the most natural way.
Our starting point was the sound and movement of the element of water and the sense that it creates. Water in conjunction with the architectural interest of the Byzantine chapel and the natural beauty of the old plane trees were the decisive elements for the design which we needed to highlight and reproduce.
We create a historical promenade that starts from the chapel's remaining stone fountains and leads through a descent to a lower level where the new fountain is placed. The new fountain is remembrance of the two existing fountains of the church. The water of the site is collected through an underground pipe and is channeled to the new fountain. A visual “seabed” is created implemented by marble pieces that refer to the motifs of the walls of the Byzantine chapel.
Cover image: View of the new fountain: The old church initiates the promenade