New Zealand church to be rebuilt – with plastic and cardboard!

Rubble from Christchurch Cathedral and its destroyed bell tower after the earthquake

The 6.1 level earthquake that struck and killed 181 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, also did major property damage.

Among those seeing extensive damage was the Christchurch Cathedral, whose bell tower was completed destroyed.

A unique design was recently approved to provide at least a temporary replacement for the original bluestone cathedral. whose cornerstone was laid in 1864.

The new Christchurch Cathedral will consist of cardboard, shipping containers and sheets of Polycarbonate (PC)

Tokyo-based Shigeru Ban Architects will use cardboard, corrugated polycarbonate sheets and shipping containers to erect a “paper” church building that will be sustainable, environmentally friendly, safe, durable, beautiful, innovative and versatile. The new A-frame structure will be constructed mainly from cardboard tubes, will seat more than 700 people. and will utilize twenty-foot long shipping containers to form the building´s base.

As a building material, cardboard is readily available, recyclable and surprisingly strong.

“The strength of the building has nothing to do with the strength of the material,” said Shigeru Ban, the architectural firm’s owner.

The new building will be environmentally friendly, safe, durable and sustainable

“Even concrete buildings can be destroyed by earthquakes very easily,” he said. “But paper buildings cannot.”

What’s amazing is that this type of building will be weather-proof, fire resistant and secure.  It will likely last more than 20 years. as seen with similar structures show the Japanese architectural firm has designed.

The building’ s base will consist of twenty-foot long shipping containers. The building will consist of 64 cardboard tubes, each 30 inches in diameter and 55 feet long, and the roof will be made from corrugated PC sheets.

That such a classic building could be rebuilt with these kind of environmentally friendly materials is truly mind boggling. Makes me wonder what it would be like to have a home built this way?

With shipping containers as a base, the new Cathedral will hold more than 700 people

We’ve seen more buildings and even shopping malls built from shipping containers They seem to stand up well to the elements and provide unique retail and living spaces. A cathedral made with these in combination with cardboard – fascinating.

Construction on the Cathedral begins in January and will take three months. Shigeru Ban started work on the project in May and is not charging a fee.

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