Paper Faith: Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Cathedral

  • Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is well-known for his works with a limited temporal scope: we mentioned in last week’s article on the Snoozebox Hotel that he used shipping containers for disaster relief housing in Miyagi, and he has a considerable portfolio of disaster relief works made of paper products, including houses, schools, churches, and concert halls.

    Shigeru is at it again, this time receiving the green light to build a cardboard cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand. Christchurch was hit by a devastating earthquake in February 2011, causing irreparable damage to the ChristChurch Cathedral in the city centre, a building originally constructed in the latter part of the 19th century. Shigeru Ban’s structure, which will be able to hold up to 700 people, will have a triangular design utilising 20-foot paper tubes. The cathedral is designed to be temporary, with a life-span of about twenty years.