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Paper Tube Cathedral

Paper Tube Cathedral

Shigeru Ban Architects

Christchurch, New Zealand

An earthquake in February 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand, left the city’s main Anglican cathedral—a Gothic-style, stone edifice completed in 1904—in a sorry state. Its condition went from bad to worse when a second jolt in February shattered its magnificent rose window. In need of an immediate venue, church authorities invited Shigeru Ban to build them a temporary facility.

Similar to his work in quake-ravaged Kobe, Japan, Ban chose to use paper tubes to build the cathedral. The 9700-square-foot building’s A-frame sanctuary will seat 700 worshippers. Topping the sanctuary will be a massive, pitched roof made of paper tubes and covered with polycarbonate sheets that will allow daylight into the building. Filled with earthquake rubble, shipping containers will form the building’s base.

Construction is expected to finish by February 2012, in time for the quake’s first anniversary.

Image courtesy Shigeru Ban Architects

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