Bloomberg News

Cardboard Cathedral to Replace Christchurch’s Quake-Wrecked Icon

April 16, 2012

The damaged Christchurch Cathedral stands in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Jan. 30, 2012. Photographer: Lisa Wiltse/Bloomberg

The damaged Christchurch Cathedral stands in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Jan. 30, 2012. Photographer: Lisa Wiltse/Bloomberg

Anglican leaders are to replace Christchurch’s iconic cathedral with a cardboard structure after the building was last year destroyed in New Zealand’s deadliest earthquake in eight decades.

The temporary 700-seat cathedral will serve as a place for worship and gathering until a new church is built, according to a statement on the Christchurch Cathedral website. The structure, which uses cardboard tubes as well as timber, steel and concrete, is intended to last for more than 20 years.

The cathedral “is a symbol of hope for the future of this city,” Richard Gray from the Transitional Cathedral Group said in the statement. “It will attract interest nationally and internationally drawing additional visitors to the city.”

The building was designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and will probably be completed by December, according to the statement. It will comprise an A-frame structure based on a concrete foundation, stabilized with shipping containers.

Christchurch Cathedral was marked for demolition in March after officials concluded that the 130-year-old building was damaged beyond repair. The new structure will be built on the site of the destroyed St. John’s church at Latimer Square, on the edge of the cordoned-off “red zone” and two blocks to the east from Cathedral Square where the original cathedral is being taken apart.

Christchurch has been struck by a series of devastating earthquakes since September 2010, the worst killing 185 people in February last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Bourke in Wellington at cbourke4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Bourke in Wellington at cbourke4@bloomberg.net


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