New Zealand’s city of Christchurch celebrated the completion of its new cathedral designed by a Japanese architect on a cardboard structure. The structure, which uses thick cardboard tubes, temporarily replaces the one damaged by the 2011 earthquake until a permanent one can be built.
The 22 February quake left 185 people dead and many buildings badly damaged. The 6.3-magnitude earthquake badly damaged the old Christchurch cathedral, which was built in the late 19th century.
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban designed the cardboard cathedral with a triangular A-frame design that includes stained glass windows. The waterproof cathedral can seat 700 people and is built to last for half a century, the media report.
“The old cathedral symbolized the city in many ways and we think this cathedral is a symbol that Christchurch is regrouping and rebuilding”, acting dean Lynda Patterson told Agence-France Presse.
The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban believes no structures last forever. If at all, he considers his unlikely construction material as something “to last forever in the minds of the people”: a cardboard.
Ban, who is based in Tokyo, has previous works attached to his name involving temporary structures in the wake of calamities including the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
During the March 11 quake, Ban collaborated in making containers for victims in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture.