Skopelos, by Marc Held

The landscapes and vernacular architecture of an Aegean island
preface Jack Lang - Hardcover, 211 pages - Size: 25cm x 25cm

I have chosen Skopelos because I know this island well. It is fortunate enough to have escaped the first great ravages of mass tourism and to have preserved its way of life, its customs and landscape, and remains a traditional environment of exceptional quality... The people who lived here and who produced this architecture that we so love were mostly poor. And yet, living in isolated conditions with very modest means, these bygone islanders found expression in building houses of poignant simplicity, very close to the nature which provided the necessary materials. We are doubtless moved by the poetry of these dwellings because they evoke an era which has become idealized, a time of tranquillity when the pace of life was slow and communities self-sufficient. ---Marc Held

Availability - The book is available in 2 languages: English and French. It is for sale at local shops and the Folklore Museum of Skopelos at 42.

Review - Today, after twenty years of looking and listening, Marc Held reveals and shares his know-how, so that our eyes are aware of the light, the sea, the rocks and the trees. So that our ears are moved by the wind and the history. So that our hands venture to discover the pleasure of touching and polishing. So that our plans accommodate necessity, continuity, identity. This book embodies the encounter between an author and life on the island of Skopelos. --- Jack Lang

Review - The lessons of utter simplicity in architecture which Marc Held sets out in this book are based on exchange and reciprocity rather than on teaching from on high. They are designed to teach owners what to demand of their architects, and to teach architects how to anticipate what owners need before they ask for anything. It is a question of lessons given and received. lessons in sensibility, principally of respect of the humble, contact with the land and love for one's fellow human beings. ---Petros Martinidis, Associate professor, department of Architecture university of Aristotele, Thessalonica, Greece