The Cardboard Cathedral opens in Christchurch

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Christchurch’s new transitional cathedral was open to the public yesterday (6th August) for the first time, though plenty of workmen and machines were still working hard putting on the finishing touches.

The brain child of Japanese “emergency architect” Shigeru Ban, the cathedral was constructed with 96 locally-made cardboard tubes, using shipping containers as foundations. The building’s entire outer skin is translucent polycarbonate. It can accommodate 700 people.

It has been built in Latimer Square, several blocks from the city’s original Anglican cathedral, whose fate is still unclear after earthquake damage. However triangular glass panels at one end of the new cathedral feature images from the rose window in the original cathedral.

There is an opening festival for the next week, including an organ concert on the new Rodgers Infinity organ, Sweet Adelines, poetry and readings, a violin recital, jazz, Kapa Haka (Maori culture group) and choirs.


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The couple in the aisle was reminiscing about being married in the original cathedral many years ago.


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Christchurch trams resume post earthquake, click here.


4 thoughts on “The Cardboard Cathedral opens in Christchurch

    • Thanks for your positive comment Neil, and also for your help two years ago in our crisis. Christchurch is transforming into a modern city of quite some beauty, with the Avon River having more prominence in the new plan for the central city.


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