Center for Hellenic Culture 'Efklides'
Greek Colony, Jerusalem

Identity A unique buildling built by Dr. Efklides for his family in the early 20th century in the Greek Colony of Jerusalem. This historic building was saved from demolition by accident, and was restored to serve as a Center for Hellenic culture in the heart of the Greek Colony of Jerusalem. Other Greek institutions in the neighborhood include the Greek Community Center on Yoshua Bin Nun street, and the General Consulate of Greece on Rachel Imenu street.

Organization The restoration followed the existing historic fabric of the building, making minor interventions where needed. For example, upgrading of the electric and mechanical systems, replacement of floors and wall tiles in bathrooms - which were damaged and replaced in the 1950s with non-historic finishes, creation of a new kitchen, and replacement of damaged doors to match the existing historic design. The result was meant to feel as if it retained its historic flavor and finishes, as much as possible. Regarding the design of the kitchen at one end of the main hall, a Greek design invention was employed: borrowing the solution of a Greek cemetery entrance gate at the Abu Tor neighborhood, the kitchen is hidden behind a symmetrical arch which is skewed to accommodate the existing exit door, in a false perspective manner - very similar to the solution at the Greek cemetery gate.

Materials Concrete blocks, concrete decorative tiles, wooden doors, sheetrock for the upgraded suspended ceilings, new classical-style ceramic tiles and colorful mosaic for the bathroom walls and floor respectively.

The project was completed in 1997.