Much has been reported on the devastating events of this year’s natural disaster barrage. Both Japan and New Zealand were struck with numerous earthquakes that took many lives and created extensive structural damage.
In addition to supporting the growth and redevelopment of his own country, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban of Shigeru Ban Architects, has created an innovative and completely unique design proposal for New Zealand to aid in their recovery efforts.
Perhaps the only positive aspect to come out of such devastating events has been the global support shown, which has lead to an overwhelming surge of incredibly positive resilience construction initiatives.
What Shigeru Ban Architects have unveiled their proposal for the redevelopment of the heavily damaged Christchurch Cathedral. This time, however, it is been proposed to be constructed out of cardboard.
The new cardboard structure may at first seem unrealistic and unachievable, but through further exploration of the design brief it is possible to see this out-of-the-box design scheme coming to fruition.
The design is planned as an interim religious monument in order to instill much needed hope into those affected by the February quake, that took down such a symbolic city monument.
It will include the construction of paper tubes in 20 foot containers creating an ‘A’ shaped structure which would have a life span of approximately 15 years. The design has a capacity of 700 people and would come at a cost of approximately $4 million. In visualising this architectural gem it slowly becomes increasingly apparent that this idea is realistically conceivable.
In fact, this is not even the first time the architecture firm have ventured into cardboard territory. In 1995, after their house of worship was destroyed by an earthquake in Kobe Japan, local civilians were lead by the architecture firm in constructing a 10 x 15 m paper church to be used to boost spirits and redevelop social ties.
As well as offering a community meeting place, the actual construction of the temporary facility in Christchurch is able to become a community process, with the skill level to build with cardboard low. When plans are completely ironed out, the building process may only take up to three months, with a anticipated completion date in line with the one year anniversary of the earthquake in February 2012.
The importance of these interim places of worship is overwhelming to those going through times of adversity. What the design group have managed to do is develop a way to create comfort through innovative architecture.