The stone built Anglican Christ Church Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand, constructed in 1864, was severely damaged in the February 22nd, 2011, 6.3-magnitude earthquake which killed 135 people. A temporary replacement cathedral, to be built from cardboard, has been proposed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.
Ban has designed and built temporary homes, schools, shelters and a cathedral in disaster torn Rwanda (1994), Kobe (1995), Turkey (1999) and Haiti (2010). The cardboard structures are treated to be weather proof, and can be recycled when no longer required.
The temporary cathedral will use shipping containers as foundations, with walls constructed in an A-shape using 86 locally fabricated cardboard tubes, each weighing more than 1,102 pounds (500kgs), measuring about 32.7 inches (0.83m) in diameter and from 55.8ft to 72.2ft (17m to 22m) in length. The design has a distinctly medieval look, rather than the 19th century neo-gothic stone building it would temporarily replace.
The cardboard cathedral would be built on an inner city site, and be open to other churches and community functions. The estimated cost is NZ$4 million (US$3.4 million, €2.4 million), needing only three months to be built and could seat 700 people. Included in the design is a large triangular stain-glass window to be created by a local artist.
The project is undergoing a feasibility study before any go-ahead is given and to determine how that money can be raised, and if it can be built by the first year anniversary on February 22nd, 2012.