Cardboard Cathedral unveiled in Christchurch

Cardboard Cathedral unveiled in Christchurch

Visitors from all over the world heading to New Zealand can now satisfy their curiosity about Christchurch’s famed Transitional ‘Cardboard’ Cathedral.

After nearly two years of planning and construction, Christchurch’s Transitional Cathedral, designed by renowned Japanese architect ShigeruBan, has opened its doors to the public.

The eye-catching building, made up of 98 cardboard tubes weighing up to 120 kilograms and measuring up to 20 metres long, was built as a temporary replacement for Christchurch’s iconic Cathedral, badly damaged in a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in February 2011.

The new design is built to last up to 50 years and can seat up to 700 people.

Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter says the Cathedral has provoked strong international interest and that he expects most visitors will be curious to see what the church looks like from the inside.

“Even when it was under construction staff at our i-SITE Visitor Centre and city taxi drivers were fielding lots of requests from visitors keen to see it, so we’re expecting it to be a very popular attraction.

“It’s a fascinating building, not only from an architectural and engineering point of view, but also because of the story it tells.

“It is a building which says much about Christchurch’s resilience and creativity.”

The Acting Dean of Christchurch, Revd. Lynda Patterson added the Transitional Cathedral stands as a symbol of hope after the Canterbury earthquakes, and a place of hospitality and welcome for the city and the wider community.

“We hope everyone will be inspired to visit Christchurch, and we look forward to welcoming people to the Cathedral as visitors or pilgrims,” she explained.

Hunter further commented that while the Cardboard Cathedral is primarily a place of worship, it is also to be used as a venue for concerts and special events. “It is a venue unlike any other in the world so it’s going to very popular with event organisers looking for a place with a wow factor.

“We’re delighted it is being made available in this way and look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world through its doors.’‘