Transitional 'Cardboard' Cathedral is open to visitors

August 8 2013

Visitors from all over the world heading to New Zealand can now satisfy their curiosity about Christchurch's famed Transitional ‘cardboard’ Cathedral.

After nearly two years of planning and construction, Christchurch's Transitional Cathedral, designed by renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, has opened its doors to the public.

The eye-catching building is made up of 98 cardboard tubes weighing up to 120 kilograms and measuring up to 20 metres long.

It was built as a temporary replacement for Christchurch's iconic Cathedral, which was badly damaged in a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in February 2011. It is designed to last up to 50 years and can seat up to 700 people.

Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter says the Cathedral has provoked strong international interest and he expects most visitors to Christchurch will be curious to see inside it.

"It's a fascinating building not only from an architectural and engineering point of view, but also because of the story it tells. It is a building which says much about Christchurch's resilience and creativity.''

The Acting Dean of Christchurch, Revd. Lynda Patterson says “We hope everyone will be inspired to visit Christchurch, and we look forward to welcoming people to the Cathedral as visitors or pilgrims,” she says.

Mr Hunter says while the cardboard cathedral has been primarily built as a place of worship, it can also be used as a venue for concerts and special events.

"It is a venue unlike any other in the world so it's going to very popular with event organisers looking for a place with a wow factor. We're delighted it is being made available in this way and look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world through its doors,'' Mr Hunter says.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm
Donation is encouraged