Christchurch's Transitional 'Cardboard' Cathedral

One of Christchurch's exciting new buildings is the Transitional 'Cardboard' Cathedral constructed on the site of the former St John's Latimer Square Anglican Church. It was designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, winner of the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

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.

Tim Hunter, Chief Executive, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism

The Cardboard Cathedral opened to the public on 6 August 2013 with a Diocesan Dedication Service on 15 August. It has seating for 700 and the Cathedral also provides a venue for concerts, exhibitions, and civic and community events.

The Cathedral makes use of varied construction materials from cardboard tubes to timber beams, structural steel and concrete. It is the largest 'emergency structure' to be designed by Shigeru Ban who, with the support of associate architect Yoshie Narimatsu, contributed his time free of charge and gifted the building's design to the Cathedral, Diocese and Christchurch.

Many of the building materials are being sourced locally and nationally including the 98 16.5 - 20 metre, 120-kilogram tubes. Each tube is coated in polyurethane and laminated timber has been inserted for strength.

Incorporating images from ChristChurch Cathedral's rose window

The Cardboard Cathedral's triangular window design includes 49, 1.2 metre tall panels and incorporates images from ChristChurch Cathedral's original rose window.

Each image comes from the same position as on the rose window. The triangular panels in the middle of the new stained-glass window use images from the centre circle of the rose window, while the remaining panels use images from the outside circle.

ChristChurch Cathedral development manager Craig Dixon said, "it is fascinating that the design is a fractured image that has some powerful things to say about the state of the cathedral and the city at the moment."

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