By Mark Johanson.
“Cardboard” and “cathedral” are two words you don’t often put together. Cathedrals are known for their sturdy presence, with flying buttresses, soaring domes, and Gothic grandeur. That, however, isn’t stopping the residents of earthquake-ravaged Christchurch from rebuilding the city’s iconic cathedral out of 104 tubes of cardboard.
Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, was badly damaged in the 6.3-magnitude February 2011 earthquake.
The Victorian-era, Gothic-style ChristChurch Cathedral, which dominated the city’s central square, was a popular meeting place and tourist attraction until it was cordoned off soon after the quake. Any hope that it could be salvaged was destroyed after a large aftershock caused additional damage. Scheduled for demolition, church officials announced Monday plans to build a 25-meter (82-foot) cardboard cathedral in its place … temporarily.
Richard Gray, of the Transitional Cathedral Group, called the planed building “a symbol of hope for the future of the city,” saying it’s both sustainable and affordable.
Solid idea: Cardboard cathedral to be built in New Zealand to replace Christchurch’s quake-damaged church
By Trevor Mogg
Work will soon begin on architect Shigeru Ban‘s design for a cardboard cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand. The city’s famous cathedral was badly damaged in a quake last year, and so Ban’s temporary structure will provide the local community with a new gathering place while they wait for a more permanent cathedral to be built.
When a powerful 6.3-magnitude quake struck Christchurch in New Zealand in February last year, its force caused part of the city’s famous cathedral to tumble to the ground.
Rebuilding the 131-year-old Anglican cathedral was recently judged to be too costly and dangerous, resulting in the controversial decision to at some point demolish its remains.
While local church-goers wait for a new cathedral to be built, the authorities have come up with the novel idea of building a 700-seat transitional cathedral out of cardboard. Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the unique paper and cardboard structure will rest on an A-frame of timber beams and structural steel.
A location for the cathedral was announced yesterday on the Christchurch Cathedral website.
“This is a very exciting next step for the project,” the Transitional Cathedral Group’s Richard Gray said. “The Transitional Cathedral is a symbol of hope for the future of this city as well as being sustainable and affordable. The Cathedral is confident it will attract interest nationally and internationally drawing additional visitors to the city.”
Construction will begin next week on a $5 million temporary cardboard cathedral which will replace the ChristChurch Cathedral.
The Anglican Church today revealed plans for the transitional cathedral which will be designed by top Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.
It will be built on St John’s Latimer Square, which before the earthquake had been home to the city’s earliest stone church.
By Brian Dodson
Early on the morning of September 4, 2010, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand causing widespread damage. This was followed by a 6.3 magnitude quake on February 22, 2011 that was much shallower and devastated the city of Christchurch – NZ’s second-largest city – resulting in the loss of 185 lives. Among a considerable number of building collapses was the historic Anglican Cathedral, which sustained sufficient damage that it had to be demolished. Work has now begun on a temporary cathedral, intended to serve the needs of the community until sufficient funds are acquired to build a permanent replacement. Oddly, the architects decided to make the replacement of cardboard!
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