shigeru ban architects: cardboard cathedral shigeru ban architects: cardboard cathedral
aug 09, 2011

shigeru ban architects: cardboard cathedral

‘cardboard cathedral’ by shigeru ban architects located in christchurch, new zealand images courtesy of shigeru ban architects

japan based practice shigeru ban architects has unveiled their proposal ‘cardboard cathedral’, a replacement structure for the christ church cathedral located in new zealand. an earthquake struck the city of christchurch in february 2011, heavily damaging the existing church and leaving the community in need of an interim structure to continue their daily activities. the design consists of an A-frame quickly erected with cardboard tubes and polycarbonate which will rest upon foundations fabricated from twenty foot long shipping containers. the interior volume will serve as an event and concert space capable of holding 700 individuals.

(left) front facade (right) proposed structural A-frame

the monumental triangular entry facade will be composed of a series of smaller triangles filled with stained glass window panes sourced from local artists. with initial research and engineering phases currently underway, once resolved the structure will take three months to assemble with a projected completion of february 2012. the durable materials are weatherproof and fireproof with a functional lifespan of at least fifteen years. volunteers may assist with the rebuilding process as structural connections of the eight centimeter diameter tubes require minimal construction experience.

process sketches

shigeru ban revealing his proposal to the public image © dean kozanic of the press

(left) damage to the cathedral’s front facade (right) current state of the cathedral

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