Maya Gaki takes us inside a spectacular seaside estate on the island of Kos
Well-known personalities from Greece and abroad have often visited the Nasioutzik Museum and enjoyed the hospitality of the Attica Estate created by collector George Nasioutzik. His principle business of construction and real estate has taken the Greek patrician all over the country, including the islands, of course, where he decide to buy large areas of land and create his own private retreats. One of them is located on the island of Kos, the historic home of Hippocrates. The island lies close to Rhodes, Kalymnos and Nisyros, and just 15 minutes form the Turkish resort of Bodrum. In ancient times, it had 160,000 inhabitants and four kingdoms, and is rich in history and archeological finds.
Today, to my surprise, a confirmed bachelor and a family man with three children coexist there. The central idea of the veteran constructor in creating the first house was the concept of continuity, the transfer of the outside in, and vice versa. He achieved it with wide opening and tiles, on the same level as the house, which surrounded the pool and cover a thousand square metres. In a revolutionary move, he leaves behind the idea of the traditional house, preserving continuous unbroken surfaces everywhere and creates large modern openings with views of the horizon, even from the bathrooms.
“I wanted everything to be easy,” he explains. Getting there certainly does not involve too much difficulty. “Flights from Athens are frequent and take only half an hour, and then it is another eight minutes to the house. In just one hour and forty minutes, I go from the door of the museum at Spata to the door of my house on Kos, refreshed and unruffled.” Everywhere else, he is surrounded by people, but George Nasioutzik goes to his own house alone, to relax, to enjoy the privacy and to concentrate. The space is modern, dominated by the colour white, with traditional decorative features that lend the house a touch of colour, as well as stamping his own personality on it. The walls of the sitting room are adorned with handmade embroideries from Kashmir and suzani textiles from Uzbekistan, whose wonderful colours bring the atmosphere of the East to the house. The modern leather sofas from New York go perfectly with the marble tables by sculptor Frosso Michalea. There are also objects from the collection of Theodore Voukidis – nineteenth-century ship’s wheels, compasses, telescopes, and seafaring instruments, all made of brass – arranged imposingly like tall sculptures. The outer walls are decorated with antique Kutahya plates from central Turkey, with plant and animal motifs in blue and turquoise. Large squash and other produce from the farm complete the natural décor and exude a calm which only the August maltemi wind can disturb. The owner’s favourite images are the moon reflected in the sea and the sight of Tilos and Rhodes from his veranda. His stay in the area always takes in cultural events. A particularly outstanding one was the concert given by Alkistis Protopsalti on Askoi, a tiny island with 50 inhabitants off the coast of Patmos. As if my other senses had not been stimulated enough, he gave me a true taste of the place with the gift of a sweet preserve made with tomatoes from his garden. Visiting Nasioutzik’s oasis in the Aegean was a truly unforgettable treat for the senses.