Newly-opened cardboard cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand (Credit: Christchurch Cathedral)
New Zealand has officially opened the temporary cathedral made out of cardboard in the heart of Latimer Square in Christchurch. The cardboard cathedral has replaced the neo-Gothic structure that was destroyed in the massive Christchurch earthquake in 2011. The quake has claimed 185 lives in the second largest city of New Zealand.
ese designer Shigeru Ban (Credit: Reuters)
The cardboard cathedral was designed by Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect who was praised for his innovative structural design. The opening and dedication of New Zealand's cardboard cathedral is a major milestone in the ongoing recovery of the city from the 6.3 earthquake which pretty much leveled the downtown area.
Christchurch Cathedral before and after the earthquake (Credit: Wordpress.com/Deardannynalliah)
Acting Dean Lynda Patterson said the old cathedral before the earthquake hit Christchurch was a great symbol in so many ways. Ms Patterson said the cardboard cathedral's opening is a sign of Christchurch's rebuilding efforts.
The opening of the Japanese-designed cathedral restored some semblance of order for the community. Ms Patterson said the cardboard cathedral will be a place where people can come in and contemplate in the middle of downtown.
The newly opened cathedral in New Zealand was built from cardboard tubes measuring 600 millimetres in diameter and coated with water-resistant polyurethane and flame retardants. The innovative cardboard cathedral has a simple A-frame structure. The cathedral can accommodate 700 visitors and churchgoers.
Despite it being made from cardboard, the cathedral can last up to 50 years. The Anglican Church in New Zealand plans to use the cardboard structure for at least 10 years while it is in the process of building a more permanent replacement for the quake-destroyed cathedral.
The cardboard cathedral has a concrete base with tubes holding up the two sides of the A-frame structure. Containers were also placed to secure the walls of the cathedral. On one end of the cathedral, visitors will see a polycarbonate roof and stained glass to protect the structure from the harsh elements.
Cardboard cathedral in New Zealand (Credit: Christchurch Cathedral)
The cardboard cathedral is said to be the most ambitious project of Japanese designer Mr Ban. He is known for his reputation as a master of "emergency architecture" for using low-cost and readily available materials to build structures especially in areas struck by disaster as in the case of Christchurch and his homeland, Japan.
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