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Cardboard Cathedral: Temporary Solution to Devastation

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 04, 2012 02:05 AM
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by Jennifer Shockley last modified Sep 21, 2011

In February 2011, Christchurch, New Zealand was disrupted and partly destroyed by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake only five short months after a 7.1 earthquake in September 2010 had already shook the town and surrounding suburbs. Due to the weakening structures after the first earthquake, the demolished city and death tolls were the fourth largest in New Zealand’s recorded history of natural disasters. But as communities do, New Zealand’s people have come together and began to rebuild. One historical landmark that is being redesigned is the Christchurch Cathedral, which was originally built in 1864. The cathedral’s tower was demolished and the entire structure was of concern, due to the force it endured. The church has sought the architectural services of Shigeru Ban Architects to build a cathedral which will have a 700 person capacity and be a temporary replacement. The temporary structure can last up to ten years and is being made entirely of cardboard tubes.




 

 

In February 2011, Christchurch, New Zealand was disrupted and partly destroyed by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake only five short months after a 7.1 earthquake in September 2010 had already shook the town and surrounding suburbs.

Due to the weakening structures after the first earthquake, the demolished city and death tolls were the fourth largest in New Zealand’s recorded history of natural disasters.

But as communities do, New Zealand’s people have come together and begun to rebuild.

Christchurch Cathedral Before 2011 earthquake

One historical landmark that is being redesigned is the Christchurch Cathedral, which was originally built in 1864. The cathedral’s tower was demolished and the entire structure was of concern, due to the force it endured.

The church has sought the architectural services of Shigeru Ban Architects to build a cathedral which will have a 700 person capacity and be a temporary replacement. The temporary structure can last up to ten years and is being made entirely of cardboard tubes.

Demolished Cathedral tower

The cardboard tubes are being manufactured at the local Sonoco NZ ltd., to keep costs at a minimum. Shigeru Ban, himself, is working pro-bono (no pay) on the project.

Shigeru Ban has made a name for himself by building disaster relief structures and temporary housing using cardboard and other locally sourced, recycled, sustainable materials. He is a Japanese architect with an International reputation.

He developed the Takatori Catholic Church as a temporary structure in Kobe after an earthquake struck there in 1995. The church was donated, deconstructed and moved to Taiwan in 2005. He also designed many paper log and plywood houses in Turkey in 2000 after their own natural disaster, which had the added benefits of being easily made by the people living in them and also waste paper was used as insulation for the families’ comfort.



 

 

 
 
 

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