Shigeru Ban completes Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch

News: the Cardboard Cathedral designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public today in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The building was designed by Shigeru Ban as a temporary replacement for the city's former Anglican cathedral, which was destroyed by the earthquake that struck the city in February 2011. With an expected lifespan of around 50 years, it will serve the community until a more permanent cathedral can be constructed.

The building features a triangular profile constructed from 98 equally sized cardboard tubes. These surround a coloured glass window made from tessellating triangles, decorated with images from the original cathedral's rose window.

Cardboard Cathedral by Shigeru Ban

The main hall has the capacity to accommodate up to 700 people for events and concerts, plus eight steel shipping containers house chapels and storage areas below.

The cathedral had initially been scheduled to open in February, but was subject to a series of construction delays. The first service will now be held on Sunday 11 August.

The reconstruction of the permanent cathedral building has been a controversial topic in recent months, after critics rejected two contemporary designs and called for the building to be restored to its original gothic appearance. The selected design has yet to be announced.

Cardboard Cathedral by Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban has used cardboard on a number of pavilions and structures in recent years, particularly on disaster relief projects. Other examples include a temporary gallery in Moscow with cardboard columns and a cardboard pavilion at the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid.

Dezeen interviewed Shigeru Ban back in 2009, when he explained that he considers "green design" to be just a fashion, but that he is most interested in "using materials without wasting".

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