In February 2011 a terrible earthquake caused relentless damage to the symbolic Christ Church Cathedral in New Zealand. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban was commissioned to design a temporary cathedral to quickly restore stability to the devastated community.
Ban is well known around the world for creating temporary structures for communities aggrieved by natural disasters. Since the 1990s he has created homes, schools, churches and shelters in countries including Rwanda, Kobe, Turkey and Haiti.
The Christ Church Cathedral restoration is known as the ‘cardboard cathedral.’ Built from locally produced cardboard and shipping containers, the proposed project would cost around $4 million, take less than six months and could seat 700 people. The design is referred to as ‘temporary’ but its permanence is viable if the community chooses to keep it. It’s estimated time of completion is February 2012 to mark the one-year anniversary of its destruction. The original Christ Church Cathedral holds unprecedented importance to its community. Its restoration becomes a symbol a hope and instills a sense of unity in spite of the devastation. Ban does an incredible job of involving the citizens of Christchurch not only by using local materials, but also by commissioning local artists to add aesthetic beauty to the structure.
Story courtesy of Stuff.co.nz & Photos courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects