Cardboard Cathedral Project Approved
The Transitional 'Cardboard' Cathedral is about to become a reality. A ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ signed by Cathedral Chapter, St John’s Anglican Parish and Church property Trustees opens the way for
a 700 seat Cathedral with linked ‘container annex’ to be built on the corner of Madras and Hereford Streets, next to Latimer Square.
The following Media Release made available on Monday April 16 details the project:
Site Confirmed for Transitional Cathedral
An inspirational Transitional Cathedral, using the innovative design by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, will be built on St John’s Latimer Square site, Richard Gray from the Transitional Cathedral Group and Bishop Victoria Matthews jointly announced today.
The temporary structure will serve as a place for community worship and gathering until a new permanent cathedral is built. After this time, the Transitional Cathedral will become the worship centre for the St John’s parish, whose Church, vicarage and hall had to be demolished following the Feb 22nd quake.
St John’s parish is one of the larger parishes, within the seventy-one parishes that make up the Diocese of Christchurch. Currently over four hundred parishioners meet on a Sunday, at Mairehau High School in the morning and at St. Saviour’s in Sydenham in the evening.
Richard Gray says “This is a very exciting next step for the project. The Transitional Cathedral is a symbol of hope for the future of this city as well as being sustainable and affordable. The Cathedral is confident it will attract interest nationally and internationally drawing additional visitors to the city.”
Bishop Victoria says “I am delighted we have reached this step and I acknowledge the wonderful collaboration between the congregations of the Cathedral and St John’s that has made a Transitional Cathedral possible in the inner city.”
With seating for seven hundred, the building will also provide a venue for concerts, exhibitions, civic and community events, something currently lacking post February 22nd. An ancillary building (linked containers) will sit alongside the Cathedral and include a café and shop along with meeting rooms, amenities and offices.
“The bulk of the money is in hand but there will be further fundraising to meet the costs of building the temporary structure, “ says Mr Gray. He acknowledged the support of a number of companies including Warren and Mahoney, Holmes Consulting, Beca, The George Hotel, Sonoco (cardboard tube manufacturer) and Air New Zealand, who had generously sponsored the project to date. A feasibility study was conducted with a $50,000 donation from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust.
The building, which incorporates the use of cardboard tubes as well as timber beams, structural steel and a concrete pad, will be durable and is intended to last well over twenty years. It is the largest ‘emergency structure’ to be designed by Shigeru Ban who, with the support of associate architect Yoshie Narimatsu, has contributed his time free of charge and gifted the building’s design to the Cathedral, Diocese and city.
Warren and Mahoney will shortly commence the detailed design for the Transitional Cathedral and it is anticipated the building will be completed by December 2012. Architect, Shigeru Ban hopes to be in Christchurch on April 22nd and 23rd for the first turning of the soil on the site at the corner of Hereford and Madras Streets.
More information along with artists renderings of the project may be viewed in the following document: