In July 1935, Kazantzakis and Takis Kalmouchos bought a field at a site called Livadi outside the main town. He called it “the Rock”. In 1936 foundations were laid for a house – the “Cocoon”, as Kazantzakis called it – to plans drawn up by the architect Vassilis Douras.
In the spring of 1937, when the Kazantzakis couple moved in, the house was still only half built, and they became personally involved in completing the construction works. Nikos helped the builders, filled joints and supervised.
A carved wooden mermaid that Kazantzakis had seen in one of the island’s boatyards was later to be placed on the northwest veranda. Over the lintel was a black and gold mosaic of the holy wheel of Shintoism.
The Kazantzakis couple lived in the “Cocoon” up until 1946, playing host to Sikelianos, Prevelakis, Kakridis and dozens of other friends. It was there that Nikos wrote a large part of his work.