In November 2015 I joined a construction workshop in Northern Greece. It was a unique collaborative project developed and produced by LiAi studio who got in contact with the speleological association Mavros Vrachos. The speologist were in need for a permanent base in the neighborhood of 20 highly interesting and newly discovered caves located in a remote mountain area.
The association asked for a possibility to host up to 8 people overnight, room for personal storage and equipment, a dressing room and space for social gatherings in case of bad weather. They intended to create a place, that would attract young speleologists to this region of the country, which is severely affected with the outflow of the young generation.
After preparing the design, we went to Greece to erect the building in merely six days. Only the basic materials were purchased on the market, and the rest of the project happened through friendship and generosity. The help of local administration, numerous friends providing us with the most delicious food and the community of Kapnofito, who borrowed us extra tools and supported with great coffee motivated us to work „full on” and we certainly outperformed any of our previous achievements.
We were congratulated by Serres Club for UNESCO for a “deep knowledge of our profession, faultless behavior, collective action and ethics.” The shelter will remain open to any interested users and we hope it will be a contribution to energize this beautiful region and put it on the map.