Cardboard cathedral for Christchurch

Cardboard cathedral for Christchurch

A cardboard cathedral designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban will be built in Christchurch on the site of St John's church which was badly damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes. Ban's A-frame sanctuary will seat 700 worshippers providing a home for Anglicans while their quake-damaged cathedral is largely demolished and replaced.

Topping the 9700-square-feet structure will be a massive pitched roof made of cardboard tubes and covered with polycarbonate sheets to keep it watertight and allow daylight into the building. Shipping containers filled with earthquake rubble will form the base of the building.

Shigeru Ban is known for his post-disaster zone design projects, such as his temporary housing project underway in Onagawa, one of the coastal communities devastated on 11 March by the earthquake and tsunami that left 3,800 of its 4,500 homes partially, if not completely damaged.

Image: model of Shigeru Ban's temporary cathedral to be built in the city of Christchurch