shigeru ban: christchurch NZ cardboard cathedral under construction
original content
dec 31, 2012
shigeru ban: christchurch NZ cardboard cathedral under construction



a scale model of the new cardboard christchurch cathedral

image courtesy AFP photo / marty melville

 

 

japanese architect shigeru ban designed a transitional cathedral in earthquake-devastated christchurch.
the city’s gothic revival cathedral made from local basalt was irreparably damaged in the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that claimed 185 lives on february 22 last year.
urgently needing a temporary replacement, the anglican church commissioned ban — who donated his services gratis — to draw up plans for a construction,
to be built from 600-millimeter (24-inch) diameter cardboard tubes, coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardants.
it will be a simple A-frame structure that can hold 700 people.

 

 


construction on its way
image courtesy AFP photo

 

 

shigeru ban visits the construction site
video courtesy BBC

 

 

a scale model of the new cardboard christchurch cathedral
image courtesy AFP photo / marty melville 

 

 

people are not killed by earthquakes, they’re killed by collapsing buildings,’ shigeru ban says.
that’s the responsibility of architects but the architects are not there when people need some temporary structure because we’re too busy working for (the) privileged.
even a temporary structure can become a home.’ shigeru ban

 

 

(r) the ruins of the existing cathedral and (l) a scale model of the new cardboard christchurch cathedral
image courtesy AFP photo / marty melville

 

 


from designboom’s 2011 article — the early model shows the interiors of the ‘cardboard cathedral’ in christchurch
images courtesy of shigeru ban architects

 

church authorities envisage it being used as a cathedral for only 10 years, until a permanent replacement is built, although ban said the enthusiastic response in
NZ to his innovative plans could change that.
the structure has a concrete base, with the cardboard tubes forming two sides of the A-frame and containers helping brace the walls.
one end of the cathedral will be filled with stained glass and a polycarbonate roof will help protect it from the elements, giving a lifespan estimated at up to 50 years.
it will be built on latimer square, close to the city’s ruined cathedral.

 

 

previous version of the ‘cardboard cathedral’, scale model
images courtesy of shigeru ban architects

 

due to be completed in april next year — 132 years after the consecration of the original stone version — the NZ cathedral is the largest cardboard structure
ban has designed. the church, insurance and public donations are paying for the NZ$5 million project (USD 4.2 million) for which local builders have
offered discount prices.

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