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Aeronautical base Gianni Rossetti of the Italian Regime in Leros: a study on the Palimpsest of Institutionalism

Gratsou Georgia

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Year 2013
Type of Item Diploma Thesis Project
Bibliographic Citation Georgia Gratsou, "Aeronautical base Gianni Rossetti of the Italian Regime in Leros: a study on the Palimpsest of Institutionalism", Diploma Thesis Project, School of Architecture, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2013
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The political turbulences of the Civil War (1946-1949) and the Military Dictatorship of the 21st of April (1967-1974) in Greece, as a continuation of the 2nd World War tribulations, led to the final formation of a network of “Spaces of Exception”, for disciplinary as well as “national reformation” uses. These spaces, given the lack of resources of the Greek government, accommodated during the 20th century a variety of correctional functions, thus acquiring a rich historical background that reflects the internationally and nationally dominant ideology related to institutionalism during that particular period. Now places of memory and reference, those areas have been architectural organizations in which, even in present time, the terror of the asylum and the uncanny architecture are dominant.This paper is a study of the creation and the historical background of one of those spaces; the complex of the former Aeronautical Base Gianni Rossetti of the Italian regime, in the areas of Lepida and Ai Giorgis of the island of Leros, in the Dodecanese. The successive transformations of the complex from military quarters to technical school-orphanage, asylum and prison constitute a palimpsest with temporal axis the concept of institutionalism. The analysis and interpretation of the palimpsest of this particular case study aims to approach and explain, on a broader level, the way in which architectural space as well as landscape can become instruments of ideological manipulation and contribute to loss of consciousness via techniques that cancel the memory of the individual.

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