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The Cardboard Cathedral By Shigeru Ban

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The Cardboard Cathedral in the New Zealand town of Christchurch, designed by architecture legend Shigeru Ban, serves as a replacement for the city’s iconic 1864 Anglican cathedral that has been destroyed during a 2011 earthquake.

“Even concrete buildings can be destroyed by earthquakes very easily, but paper buildings cannot.”
With an expected lifespan of 50 years, the temporary cathedral will stand in Christchurch until a more permanent structure is built. Constructed as a simple A-frame structure from 98 equally sized cardboard tubes, the building is said to be one of the safest buildings in Christchutch, designed to be earthquake-proof. Shigeru Ban has used the recycled tubes as an emergency relief building material before several times. The architect declares: “The strength of the building has nothing to do with the strength of the material. Even concrete buildings can be destroyed by earthquakes very easily, but paper buildings cannot.” Apart from its strong technical advantages, the church also welcomes the visitors with a colorful mosaic made of triangular glass etched with images from the original cathedral’s facade.

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All images © Bridgit Anderson