Friday 27 November 2009

The view from... upstairs

Our Project Manager, Andy Hogan, was feeling inspired to get up on the crane today.

He eventually did and had taken some breathtaking pictures from up there.

These show clearly the great progress made recently on our building site.

They also show the scaffolding, the new platform, the finished side walls, the roof arches, as well as the size of the new Church in comparison with the nearby buildings.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Up on the platform

Another lovely and sunny day today.

The scaffolding is coming on very well in the interior of the new Church.

A platform has started being placed there, on the top of the scaffolding.

With the permission and our Project Manager I was able to get up there today.

I certainly didn’t miss the opportunity to get some pictures from up there, which show the progress of the works on the ground as well as on the walls and with the assistance of the platform on the roof arches as well.

The crane when I was up there was transferring reinforcement to be used for the building of the roof.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Modern technology

It was a nice and sunny day today, although the temperature was about 10 degrees Celsius.

The crane was a protagonist in the works today.

As we see in the pictures of this post it was transferring heavy loads of concrete to various parts of the building.

Modern technology is great. What would we do without it!

Tuesday 24 November 2009

The first roof arches

It is still quite windy out there. Difficult conditions for those working on our building site; especially for the crane.

But our Project Manager was happy today, as the platform is being laid nicely in the area of the interior Church.

The first roof arches had also started being constructed on site.

A Roman arch is a structure that spans a space while supporting weight (e.g. a doorway in a stone wall). Arches appeared as early as the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamian brick architecture and their systematic use started with the Ancient Romans who were the first to apply the technique to a wide range of structures.

An arch requires all of its elements to hold it together, raising the question of how an arch is constructed. One answer is to build a frame (historically, of wood) which exactly follows the form of the underside of the arch. This is known as a centre or centring. The voussoirs are laid on it until the arch is complete and self-supporting. For an arch higher than head height, scaffolding would in any case be required by the builders, so the scaffolding can be combined with the arch support.

The arch is significant because, in theory at least, it provides a structure which eliminates tensile stresses in spanning an open space. All the forces are resolved into compressive stresses. This is useful because several of the available building materials such as stone, cast iron and concrete can strongly resist compression but are very weak when tension, shear, or torsional stress is applied to them. By using the arch configuration, significant spans can be achieved. This is because all the compressive forces hold it together in a state of equilibrium.

Monday 23 November 2009

Photo of the week - 15

Last Monday we had all of the side walls in place. Now we also have part of the front wall, as well as part of the back (Holy Sanctuary) wall.

Sunday 22 November 2009

A talk by Andros Pavlides

A very interesting talk was delivered tonight at our Community premises by the distinguished Greek Cypriot historian and television producer Mr. Andros Pavlides.

He spoke on the theme: “St. Panteleimon Monastery in the occupied village Mirtou (Cyprus)”.

Before the talk the Parish Priest Fr. Anastasios, together with the visiting Priest Archimandrite Fr. Theophanis Petrou, officiated at a Holy Service, a Supplicatory Canon. The focus of this prayer was on the return of the refugees to their rightful homes and on the freedom of the Greek lands in occupied Cyprus.

The Chairman of our Community Mr. Pantelis Demosthenous had then introduced the speaker and then Mr. Pavlides spoke about St. Panteleimon himself, about the Monastery in the occupied Mirtou as well as about the sociology of the festivals in Cyprus.

The talk was accompanied by Power Point Presentation with interesting pictures from St. Panteleimon Monastery and from other places in the occupied Cyprus.

Mr. Demosthenous and Fr. Anastasios had offered thanks to the speaker for an excellent talk. After the end a reception was offered on the first floor of our Community building, where everybody was invited to attend.

Friday 20 November 2009

View from the driver’s seat

As I woke up this morning I was not impressed at all by the weather. Drizzling, cloudy, windy.

The first thing I had in my mind was: “What pictures could I get today from our building site in this dark day?”

And then I received an e-mail by Andy Hogan, our Project Manager, who had sent me these amazing pictures, which he had taken this morning from the top of the crane.

He even gave me the title for the post: “View from the driver’s seat”.

I am really grateful to Andy for all this and I would suggest that he gets all the credit for the today’s post.

It was nice also to see the Vicarage from above. It gives me a different perspective of life.

Thursday 19 November 2009

More scaffolding

Today more scaffolding is being put within the walls of the new Church.

Soon the whole of the interior will be full with scaffolding, which will facilitate the actual making of the roof and the main dome on site.

It is still very windy today; this is obviously quite dangerous for any works on high level.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Fr. David Williamson

Today we had a visitor at our building site. Fr. David Williamson, a local R/Catholic Priest, came to see the building of our new Church.

Our Project Manager and Fr. Anastasios had shown him around.

The works continued today, although the wind didn’t allow the crane to operate.

The front wall had started being erected.

The scaffolding had also started being organised.


Our Community invites you all to a lecture (in Greek) by the distinguished historian Andros Pavlides, who is coming from Cyprus especially for this event. The theme of his lecture is: “St. Panteleimon monastery in the occupied Myrtou” .

The lecture, which is under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, will be delivered at our Church of St. Panteleimon, on this coming Sunday 22nd November at 5.00 pm. Reception will follow.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

A message from the Architect

The works to build this landmark project are well underway now and the profile of the new church has now become visible. The dream of the new church is now beginning to be realised.

Members of the church committee had a dream of St. Panteleimon Church to reflect a Byzantine form and to echo the dreams and memories from the times that they spent living in Cyprus and Greece.

Papa Architects became involved with this historical project late in 2007. We adopted the footprint of the planning approved scheme and set upon the mammoth task of designing the church, always mindful that a church of this nature has not been build in this country for over a century.

One of the challenges that Papa Architects were faced with was to build a Byzantine church in the 21st century using materials and forms that they reflected from a past era, while meeting current building and thermal requirement that will ensure a more efficient, affordable and comfortable running for the church.

To add to the complexity of the project, the church is to be built in amongst traditional British housing on a very tight and restricting site.

The cross axis formation was developed whereby the plan layout was laid out in the cross formation, emphasising internally the two barrel vaults to the roof crossing in the centre to create a 10m diameter, copper roofed clad dome that will elevate over the horizon to over 17.5m in height. The copper roof will be further used to the 16m high bell tower and to the two turrets either side of the church.

Traditionally the church would have been build of local stone, however when we consider the local context we decided to build the outside skin in brick, which is more suited to the British climate and surrounding area. We have introduced stonework columns, cills, cornices, dentils, and surrounds to give hierarchy to the respected elevations.

The internal superstructure, including the mezzanine floor, barrelled roof and domes will be formed in mass in-situ cast reinforced concrete built off a piled rafted foundation.

The entire interior envelope will be rendered smooth to receive specialist iconography, illuminated with natural daylight and specially designed and controlled artificial lighting.

The church will be heated through a zoned network of under floor heating bedded within the insulated floors and concealed beneath the stone floors. Natural ventilation will be encouraged to ensure a comfortable environment.

St. Panteleimon Church will truly be a monument building that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Michael Neocleous
Papa Architects Ltd.

Friday 13 November 2009

Old bricks

As we had said before bricks from our old Church of Saint Panteleimon have been preserved in order to be distributed to parishioners and others who would like to keep a souvenir from the old Church.

A member of our Community, Mr. Michael Christou, has provided special bags for the bricks, with an inscription on them, in both Greek and English. The bricks will start being distributed from this coming Sunday.

Thursday 12 November 2009

The walls

Today we can see almost all of the side walls being erected.

Doors and windows (or to be more precise the openings on the walls where doors and windows will be placed) are clearly visible.

The arches above the doors and windows have symbolic significance as they join together the pillars and walls of the church, reminders of Jesus Christ and the sacraments by which God and people are joined together.

The walls of the Church will be properly blessed and consecrated by the Archbishop when the whole building will be ready for use.