1830. The Santorinean family Sigalas builds a sheepfold hewn in the rock, in the settlement of Karterados in the center of Fira, to hide their animals when pirates raided the island. Forty-seven years later, the cave is converted into a home to house the large family with the children and grandchildren who expected to be given pancakes with sugar every night. One and a half centuries later, the home that remains today a home, near that a separate place for the goats, the grandmother’s house and a canava, the family winery where the year’s crop was stoically aging in oak barrels, were converted into a luxurious, intimate lodge with three suites: Canava (= winery), Eutopia (=seeking of the best possible world), and Lala (=grandmother in the Santorinean dialect). A conversion that paid meticulous attention to preserve the original character of the complex.
1956, the island’s powerful earthquake rocks the house and the family receives grant money from the state for restoration and the creation of an additional, new home adjacent to the cave house. The rebuilding process commences in 1964 when all the family members, from the father to the youngest grandchild, go to the beaches of Santorini. There, they collect tiny sea pebbles and remodel with them the former sheepfold into a home, maintaining the small space for the animals in the caves and putting them in at night. This material, the pebbles of the sea, in combination with the theraic earth and the porcelain, provides the home with static strength and geometric stability. It is the same building material, the same soil, with which the Suez Canal was built.