Cathedrals usually stand as enduring monuments to human skill and inventiveness, and magnificent pointers to the presence of God among us. Their websites will tell you how they are the oldest, the largest, the tallest or the most significant of their kind. ChristChurch Cathedral is slightly different. The original Cathedral was badly damaged in the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011. We are now putting the finishing touches to our new temporary home, the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, Christchurch. It will be the world’s only cathedral made substantially of cardboard.
The triangular window design includes 49 panels and incorporates images from ChristChurch Cathedral's original rose window.
Each image comes from the same position as on the rose window. The triangular panels in the middle of the new stained-glass window use images from the centre circle of the rose window, while the remaining panels use images from the outside circle.
The Cathedral makes use of varied construction materials from cardboard tubes to timber beams, structural steel and concrete. It is the largest 'emergency structure' to be designed by Shigeru Ban who, with the support of associate architect Yoshie Narimatsu, contributed his time free of charge and gifted the building's design to the Cathedral, Diocese and Christchurch.
Many of the building materials are being sourced locally and nationally including the 98 16.5 - 20 metre, 120-kilogram tubes. Each tube is coated in polyurethane and laminated timber has been inserted for strength.
Every effort is being made to ensure that the Transitional Cathedral will function to serve the needs of the Cathedral and its surrounding communities. The structure has been designed for maximum safety and will be built 100% to code. Its design and construction will be unlike anything previously seen in the city.
The building’s size and scale is unprecedented in terms of Shigeru’s emergency architecture. Rev Craig Dixon said “Its simple beauty, is a fitting tribute to all who have been affected by the events of September 4, 2010 and following.”
After a period of ten years, or at a point when a Cathedral is completed in Cathedral Square, Shigeru Ban’s Transitional Cathedral will continue life on site as an inner-city church for the large congregation of St John’s. It is expected will continue to be used for another forty years.
[H]ow Christchurch city is recovering from . . . a series of high magnitude earthquakes between September 2010 and June 2011. . . . It’s still alive and it’s still beautiful.
It’s not allowed to be called a Pop-Up mall because some developers in London got toey** about Canterbury using the term, but Re:START is an outdoor retail space consisting of temporary buildings made from shipping containers. Opened in October 2011, Re:START has been steadily growing to approximately 40 retailers, a number of food caravans and a market on the weekend.
The shops are full of lovely premium fashion, shoes, food and Kiwi-icon based products. The gorgeous retail mix combined with the vibrant exterior colours and the uniformity of shapes makes it not unlike Toytown in a more upmarket dimension. When the mass-plantings of sunflowers come into bloom in a couple of months it will be seriously happy.
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