Raising the roof in Adelaide

A city landmark that will stand the test of time.


October 2018

When the local Greek community agreed to go ahead with erecting a new, yet traditional Greek Orthodox parish church in Adelaide, they built a city landmark that will stand the test of time. Demolition of the existing church buildings and construction of the new commenced in 2015, and is now complete with Bristile having supplied the distinctive roof tiles.

The project to build the church, at the corner of Gorge and Stradbroke roads, has tested parishioners, but they have never lost faith in completing the task.

Father ‘Effy’ Efthymios, the parish priest, is clearly delighted with the new church for the Athelstone Parish of Saints Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene, the ‘pride of Athelstone’ as he calls it. Father Effy asked Adelaide firm, Loucas Vahos Architects, to base their design on a church he had visited while traveling in Malta.

The result is a fine new place of worship with the main dome and three half domes clad in Media Curva. The main dome has 3,000 tiles of which 2,000 were individually cut to size, which took two men nearly two months to fully clad. It consists of a combination of three layers of waterproofing in the form of marine-grade plywood, galvanised flat sheet metal and fibreglass.

Constructed on the ground, the dome weighs in at an impressive 13 tonne after cladding and was lifted into position by a 100-tonne crane in front of a cheering audience of 100 or so parishioners. With no internal cross-bracing or visible support to detract from reflection and worship, the congregation is able to gaze upwards to the frescoes and icons handpainted by artists who scaled the heights by means of scaffolding. Pitched areas of the roof are clad with Curvado - Roga.

Images - The impressive Greek Orthodox Church for the Athelstone Parish of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene in Adelaide with Media Curva roof tiles.

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