Georgia Syriopoulou

University of Patras

Department of Architecture

P36 | ONCE UPON A TIME IN ARCADIA. An architectural tale.

by Georgia Syriopoulou 

Through texts, mappings and myths I construct a fantasy about a place, an architectural narrative that reveals the intangible and fictional, however completely pragmatic in their conventions, interpretations of the place, while contemplating upon the controversial relationship of the modern man with the idealized perception of landscape. The Scenario: a modern traveler is wandering across the artificial lake of Ladhon in Arcadia, Peloponnese. Detached as he is from the landscape he enters it as a spectator and begins in his writings a parallel wandering in the landscape of his imagination. During his tour he experiences the transition from the real fragments of the landscape to their fictional interpretations as they are refracted through their mythical references. Scene 1: the hydroelectric dam becomes the gateway to the garden of Esperides that the dragon Ladhon used to guard; Scene 2: a half broken threshing field becomes the mechanism that reveals the landscape as a territory of operations; Scene 3: the ruined old stone walls of the terraces turn into an experience of the mythical chase of the nymphs by the gods; Scene 4: the stride of the mythical lady of Acova across the river triggers the condensation of the existing bridges into one compact structure reinterpreting the passage of the water. This way the traveler fantasizes and experiences a parallel reality inside which he can feel a sense of belonging, but also from which he can always turn away and depart, only to admit towards the end: “…we will only be left with this story in our minds: representations of timeless events that took place once upon a time in Arcadia. Thus, somewhere between the uncanny but compact world of fantasy and the familiar space of reality I will in my turn say: "et in Arcadia ego.”


Georgia Syriopoulou  graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Patras in 2012 and currently she is enrolled in the 2 years masters program of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands (MSc Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences). She has been awarded with the following distinctions in competitions: Landmark design in the Faliron Bay (Distinction, LDLP Architects) in 2012, Redesign of the “Theatre square” (Distinction, deltARCHI architects) in 2010 and Redesign of the park “A. Tritsis” (3rd Prize, 4-member student team) in 2010. From her research thesis being a process of deconstruction of an idea of place and identity, her diploma thesis, Once upon a time in Arcadia | An architectural tale, followed the opposite process, exactly constructing a fantasy about a place. The thesis was presented in 2012 in the exhibition Utopia 3|Architecture of dreams, and was also published in the journal Architecture in Greece (47/2013). Her student project Living in the landscape was exhibited in the 6th Student Biennial of Landscape Architecture in Barcelona in 2010. She took part in the workshop The Athens Project 2010 | Athens Waterfront (Benaki Museum, 2010) held by the Princeton and Patra Schools of Architecture. She has been a member of the editing team of Patra’s School Architecture journal titled a2610, as well as of the school’s new website.