What is significant? The Panagia Soumela Greek Orthodox Church in Amis Crescent, East Keilor, was designed in 1993 by Greek-born architect John Michelakos, and completed in 1995. It is a large rendered brick building designed in a Byzantine-influenced style that evokes the traditional churches in Europe.
How is it significant? The Panagia Soumela Church is of historical and aesthetic significance to the City of Moonee Valley
Why is it significant? Aesthetically, the Panagia Soumela Church is a particularly fine, if rather late, example of an Orthodox church in Victoria that was deliberately designed in an evocative and exotic style inspired by traditional ecclesiastical architecture of the denomination's country of origin. This tradition can be traced back to the first purpose-built Greek Orthodox church erected in East Melbourne in 1900, and reached its pinnacle in the second half of the twentieth century. This church, with its stark walls, curved parapets, arched loggia and distinctive stepped towers, remains as a landmark in the local area, and a highly unusual building within the entire municipality that is only comparable to the Ukrainian Orthodox church in Essendon.
Historically, the Panagia Soumela Church is significant as one of a number of new Greek Orthodox churches that were established in Melbourne's outer suburbs during the 1990s, demonstrating the respective increase of Greek communities in those areas. Although of relatively recent origin, the Panagia Soumela church serves as a historic lynchpin for the Greek community that has strongly characterised the East Keilor/Avondale Heights area since the 1950s.
PANAGIA SOUMELA GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH - Physical Description 1
The Church of Panagia Soumela is a large masonry building on a traditional cruciform plan, comprising a tall central gable-roofed nave flanked by low skillion-roofed transepts. The roof is clad with glazed terracotta tiles and the walls are finished with textured render. The street facade has a central arched loggia with curved parapet and plain columns, and a wide doorway with panelled timber doors and a blind fanlight. This porch is flanked by two tall stepped towers, each level having a round-arched window and its own hipped roof. Between these two towers, the nave roof is concealed by a second curved parapet with a contiguous row of five arched windows. All windows are multi-paned, metal-framed, and contain opaque amber glass.
ASSESSED BY S Reeves
ASSESSMENT DATE November 2004