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The architecture of Kumi –Kourites

Georgakaki Patritsia

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Year 2017
Type of Item Master Thesis
Bibliographic Citation Patritsia Georgakaki, "The architecture of Kumi –Kourites", Master Thesis, School of Architectural Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2017
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The research entitled "the architecture of Kumi –Kourites* " presents a bit of a historical residential ensemble of mountainous Crete, its characteristics, the interventions and the influences of the wider anthropogenic environment on its evolution. The theme fits into a large scope of issues concerning the protection of cultural heritage, but mostly of those requiring connection between their aspect of yesterday and their actual look influenced by the leveling evolution of modern civilization. The unique value of the dry stonewalls buildings that we can find today in several Mediterranean regions, is precisely the fact that they have origins and revive the ways in which men used to build at the dawn of traditional construction . Generally speaking in Crete we can find four architectural types of so called “mitata” among which the most known are those with a truncated cone form and the orthogonal one. The Koumi or mitata are mainly shelters for shepherds and the agriculturalists. The reference to the word "mitato" dates from the Byzantine era on the island and also from the “metatum” referring to the Venetian period. During the Turkish domination they constituted shelters for the rebels, as well as their significant role during World War II. The oldest existing shelter dates from 1841 and it is evidenced by the engraved reference up to the entrance jamb . After 1980, because of the industrial development, those traditional shelters “mitata “are abandoned and so the countdown begins for them.This research, by studying indicative examples of Mitata located on the Plateau area of Omalos Chania, mainly intended to emphasize the rigorous beauty of these architectural monuments, but also to answer questions related to their durability, study and analysis with current methods of some selected original materials, and at the same time whether and how the mitata could be restored and reused by their owners without differentiating or altering their own architectural identity. The study is structured in three main parts which are the basic factors which influenced and still influence “Kumi”. First of all, the surrounding environment (flora, fauna, climate, altitudes, aquifer soil). There is a reference to urban complexes that surround the area and human interventions. The second part involves the shelters building - pathology (architectural identity, material analysis, Marc finite element software ). In the third part it is attempted, through the conclusions, to give a suggestion concerning the restoration of these particular buildings (those preserved and the protection of the remains) while fully respecting the environment (RES Renewable energy sources), as well as the original building particularities of the mitata. But it is very important to give the appropriate emphasis on human activities and presence as it might be the key for a conscious preservation of its cultural heritage.

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