The natural environment is continuously transforming. On the other hand, architecture is probably the most complete expression of the cultural identity of a place and a typical example of interaction between mankind, construction and the natural environment. However steady we think our civilization is, what is certain is that its dominion over Nature is not as strong as it seems. Nature is ready to intervene, to exploit its weaknesses and to prevail over human creations. This research theme analyzes the effect of the arbitrary expansion of wild vegetation on buildings as well as its impact on larger abandoned areas and cities. Does the dominion of nature on buildings represent the decline and the end of their life, as humans fear, or is it turning into an interesting aesthetic form?
On the occasion of the unique phenomenon of the church of Saint Theodora located in the town of Megalopolis in Peloponnese, we will investigate the catalytic role of nature’s influence on the Romantic movement, how nature’s intrusion into the ruins dominated the works of the artists of the 18th century as well as how the latter inspired the landscaping of English gardens. Moreover, we will study examples of nature spreading to buildings in Greece and abroad while investigating how the influence of the Nature can become an inspiration even for 21st-century architecture. Based on the above, we elaborate our thoughts on concepts designating this phenomenon, such as nature, ruins, time, abandonment, nostalgia, wear, memory etc.