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Shigeru Ban wins green light for Christchurch Cathedral re-build

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Japan’s Shigeru Ban has received Church backing for a ‘transitional’ project to build a cardboard cathedral in earthquake-struck New Zealand

The 700-capacity temporary structure will be built on Latimer Square, close to the city’s ruined cathedral.

The 1858 George Gilbert Scott-designed structure was severely damaged following a 6.3 magnitude earthquake which struck in February 2011.

Shigeru Ban’s £2.7 million temporary replacement – known as the Transitional Cathedral – has a lifespan of between 20 and 30 years, is 25-metres tall and constructed from cardboard tubes on a timber and steel A-frame.

The building will serve as the parish church for the city’s St John’s area once a permanent Cathedral is complete.

A memorandum of understanding for the project has been signed between the Cathedral Chapter, St John’s Anglican Parish and Church Property Trustees.

Shigeru Ban's Transitional Cathedral project for Christchurch in New Zealand

Shigeru Ban’s Transitional Cathedral project for Christchurch in New Zealand

Richard Gray of the Transitional Cathedral Group said: ‘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 Matthews added: ‘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.’

New Zealand practice Warren and Mahoney will work on detailed design for the project which is planned to complete in December.

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