Christchurch’s CARDBOARD cathedral replaces 132-year-old Gothic building destroyed by 2011 earthquake

Reported by Anna Edwards 14 August 2013

Rising from the rubble: The city’s historic Anglican cathedral has been brought back to life. The £2m project saw a 700 capacity cathedral built using cardboard tubes.

More than two years after the city of Christchurch was brought to its knees by earthquakes, it has finally risen out of the rubble – albeit in an unusual way. The city has built the world’s first cardboard cathedral after the original 132-year-old Gothic one was destroyed in the February 2011 earthquake.

Much of the city’s iconic buildings were flattened by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake, leaving the New Zealand’s second-largest city badly scarred. But now at least one of the most recognisable buildings has been replaced – with a cardboard alternative.

The temporary Anglican Church opened last week, with a 10-day music series called Joyfully Un-muted to herald its re-opening, RadioNZ reported.

The £2million project saw a 700 capacity cathedral built using cardboard tubes. Each tube weighs 120kg in the unique design by Japanese emergency architect Shigeru Ban. The triangular prism is fashioned from 98 of these interlocking cardboard tubes, The Independent reported. The temporary structure also uses timber, steel and a concrete base alongside the cardboard tubes. The new building, which has a colourful window, was delivered by Christchurch architectural firm Warren and Mahoney, the Guardian reported.

Ban is an internationally-recognised architect, whose innovative work with paper has helped crisis situations. He has constructed shelters made of paper in Haiti following an earthquake that ravaged the country in 2010. He also designed homes made out of cardboard following the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, which flooded New Orleans in Louisiana and wiped away thousands of homes.

The quake killed 185 people and injured countless others, leaving Christchurch reeling by the disaster. But Christchurch residents have come up with innovative and creative ways that Christchurch residents are moving on following the catastrophic quake.

Other innovative ideas, dubbed Gap Fillers, are also popping up all over the city in a bid to temporarily replace and improve buildings which were damaged and destroyed in the disaster. The Crowne Plaza Hotel, which was demolished in the months after the quake, has made way for an impressive new pavillion made using more than 3,000 wooden pallets.

The impressive pavillion, which opened in December, is designed to help address the city’s need for new small to medium sized entertainment venues following the demolition of clubrooms and city halls.


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