Transitional Cardboard Cathedral

Cnr Madra & Hereford Streets, Christchurch
Christchurch, Canterbury
An inspirational "Transitional Cathedral" has been built on this site where a traditional 19th Century stone church (St Johns) once stood before being severely damaged in a 2011 earthquake.

Incorporating paper and cardboard tubes, supported on an A-frame of timber beams and structural steel on a concrete pad, the new church was cheaper and much faster to erect than a conventional structure. It is designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who won the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize, Shigeru Ban donated his services. He has a history of helping disaster struck places with quick to erect shelters. Aspects of the design were derived from the Cathedral in the square which was an icon for the pre-earthquake city.

Modifications made in the design/construction process mean that the church is likely to have a permanent place on the Christchurch scene. As the first major structure built since since thousands of buildings were demolished following the earthquakes the Cathedral can be seen as a forerunner of the 'new' Christchurch.

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Note: Location is approximate.


  • Interior View
    Interior View
  • 'Cardboard Cathedral'  View from the North,.
    "Cardboard Cathedral" View from the North,.
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