Diploma in Architecture, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) 1963 - 1968
MA in Architecture, University College London (UCL) 1970 - 1971
Professional license Greece 1968, England 1976
Freelance Architect 1968 - 2009
Founding partner of K. Xantopoulos - M. Milissi, Architects 1981 - 2009
Partner of Syma, Collaborating Architects 1984 - 2009
CONCISE CURRICULUM VITAE
Born in Wallsend-on-Tyne, England, in 1945. Her father was an officer of the Royal Greek Navy, engineer with the legendary Destroyer Adrias, and her mother, as was customary under the war circumstances, was very emancipated.
Two years later, they sailed to Greece, in a Greek Navy vessel and settled in the village of Elefsis. Her grandmother’s house was situated exactly opposite the famous Archeological site, which in those years was not fenced and which was the playground of her childhood. The distinct character of the space had a big impact on her early years, and slowly-slowly led her to readings about Ancient Greek Architects (Phidias, Iktinos, Ippodamos) and the fascination for their work was determinant in her choice of career.
At school, her aptitude for theoretical and technical subjects, together with the desire for a secure career, led her to Architecture, and the family moved to Athens, where she finished a math’s – oriented high school, and from there her 5 years of studies in Architecture at the national Technical University.
From 1970 to 1971, she followed a Master’s course at the School of Architecture at University College, London. In those years awareness and concern, at the school, was very high on social and technical issues of organized housing, stemming from the movement of people towards big cities, and the aging of the housing stock of large neighborhoods.
The subject of her Master’s thesis, The distinct and the normal. A discussion on creativity in Architecture, fulfilled her need for a theoretical approach to the profession, especially as regards gender issues of its professionals, architecture being more than a profession, it is a vocation, and its influence on day to day life immeasurable.
She argues –but not fanatically– that her gender has not influenced her career, since she chose to work freelance, in private practice, and didn’t have to make any “family type” compromises.
Contemporary Greek Architects that she admires are Alexandros Tombazis and Nikos Valsamakis, not only for their aesthetics, but also, for their innovative approaches and ecological considerations.
As far as ”building types that have been better treated in our country in the 20th and the first decade of the 21st centuries” she would propose single family houses, and some of the high rise dwellings, but only those that have been designed by architects.
After she completed her post-graduate studies, and obtained the Professional license both in Greece and the U.K, her professional career continued in the U.K, New York and Greece, from 1976 onwards where she worked at the office of Thymios Papayannis & Associates and at the Technical Department of the Hospital of the Greek Cancer Society.
From 1980 with C. Xanthopoulos and M. Economidou-Roka they formed the Architectural office, which in 1984, with the addition of T. Giannakopoulos, was consolidated under the name of SYMA / Collaborating Architects, with specialty in health related buildings. In addition, from 2006 she also participated, in private practice with C. Xanthopoulos, for various private projects.
With her office, she participated in general and invited Architectural Competitions, distinctions in which are included three 1st prizes (University Hospital in Larissa – Extensions to the Hellenic Radio & TV building (ERT) – School of Mineral Resources Engineering of the Polytechnic of Crete).
She has participated in Conferences, predominantly on Health related issues, as member of the International Hospital Federation (IHF), the Greek Hospital Association, and the International Union of Architects (UIA).
She has published, predominantly in Architecture in Greece articles on Health issues, and as guest editor, with C. Xanthopoulos, on Postwar Architecture in the Nordic countries and the Monograph on Kyriakos and Adela Kyriakides.
In 2009, the coincidence of the global economic crisis which badly hit the profession, together with the fulfilment of the retirement age requirements for full pension and the relocation to Finland of 50% of the human element of the private office, made the two partners decide to retire and thence to conclude their professional collaboration.