B r i e f i n g D o c u m e n t | M e d i a R e l e a s e | A p r i l | 2 0 1 2 A symbol of Hope for the Future Transitional Cathedral
Transitional Cathedral:Vision- To build a temporary “Transitional Cathedral” at asite in the central city, designed by world-renowned‘paper architect’ Shigeru Ban- to create a space for worship and communityactivities- To provide a venue for concerts, exhibitions andcivic events in the central city- To encourage the return of residents and visitorsto the central city- To strengthen the city’s international links withJapan- To be a beacon of hope for the rebuilding ofChristchurch
Transitional Cathedral:World-renowned architectCardboard isn’t a material usually associated withcutting-edge building design, but Japanesearchitect Shigeru Ban is changing that. His workhas become known the world over for innovation,creativity, sustainability, beauty and positivity.Ban is known as “an emergency architect”, whichmeans in crisis situations he creates safe temporarystructures. To date he has overseen the constructionof paper log houses in Kobe and Turkey, schools inChina, clusters of paper temporary shelters in Haitia temporary concert hall in Italy and ‘containerhousing following the recent tsunami in northernJapan, all soon after earthquake damage. ShigeruBan has visited Christchurch now seven times anddesigned, pro bono, a Transitional Cathedral for thecity. The building will be iconic, designed to reflectaspects of the past in a completely new vision forthe future.
Transitional Cathedral:Innovative and SustainableCardboard is an ideal building material because it’sreadily available, recyclable and surprisingly strong.“The strength of the building has nothing to do withthe strength of the material,” says Shigeru Ban. “Evenconcrete buildings can be destroyed by earthquakesvery easily. But paper buildings cannot be destroyedby earthquakes.” It’s also consistently low-cost.“Normally after disasters the price of buildingmaterials goes higher, but since this is not a traditionalbuilding material, it’s very easy to get,” he says.Ban’s temporary buildings are weatherproof, fireresistant and secure, and have lasted for upwardsof 20 years. They can be transported easily anddeconstructed and recycled when their working lifeis over.
Transitional Cathedral: Transitional Cathedral:Focus for the Community Community ResilienceSince the February earthquake, there are few Shigeru Ban’s buildings are usually constructed byremaining venues for community activities and the volunteers. When he designed temporary housing inarts in the central city. We anticipate the Transitional Izmit, Turkey after the 1999 earthquake, the wholeCathedral will carry on the Cathedral’s tradition of local community were involved in the build – evenopen hospitality and will be a focus for a number of children as young as five. They stuffed insulation intocommunity ventures: the cardboard tubes. The build of the Transitional- A contemplative space for people to reflect Cathedral will be overseen by contractors, with-A central venue for concerts, including CSO, we hope, volunteer assistance. We would like toSouthern Opera, the City Choir, Fiona Pears and build on the experience of community resiliencepopular musicians like Dave Dobbyn and Bic Runga demonstrated by the Student Volunteer Army and- An exhibition space for local visual arts the Farmy Army and engage local people where- A centre for community ventures including a possible, to assist in the build. Shigeru Ban hasvegetable co-op and healthy eating programme in often involved students in his emergency projects,partnership with Canterbury DHB giving them invaluable experience working on a- A venue for Civic Services which have included prestige project for a world-class architect. It is hisANZAC Day, the opening of the Antarctic Season, preference to pass on his skills and knowledge tothe Floral Festival, regimental services and others. future generations – another form of sustainability.The Transitional Cathedral will be one of the firstsubstantial “re-builds” in the wake of the earthquakeand welcome at a time when hundreds of otherbuildings are being removed. It will be a symbolof hope for a rebuilt, renewed Christchurch. It willhave an ‘after life’ as a a worship space for the StJohn’s Anglican Church congregation following thedemolition of their church and buildings.
Transitional Cathedral:Return to the Central CityThe Transitional Cathedral will support the council’splans to promote a return to the central city. Itwill complement the retail hub in Cashel Mall andsimilar initiatives, as well as encourage visitors,with a unique and innovative design. ShigeruBan’s buildings attract tourists. The paper churchhe designed after the Kobe earthquake in Japanwas moved after 11 years to Taiwan, where itremains today, more than 20 years after its initialconstruction, as one of the most notable visitorattractions in the country. It is recognised as afascinating structure of beauty and intrigue, as ourswill be.Transitional Cathedral:Strengthening linksChristchurch already has a sister city relationshipwith Kurashiki, in the Okayama Prefecture of Japan.Employing Shigeru Ban’s design will help buildfurther links between Japan and New Zealand.The Transitional Cathedral represents a sense ofsolidarity and support for reconstruction from oneearthquake-ravaged country to the other.
Transitional Cathedral:DesignThe design of the Transitional Cathedral isdeceptively simple. It is an A-frame structure basedon a concrete foundation, stabilised with shippingcontainers. Shigeru Ban reports that the A-Frame isthe most stable shape for buildings in earthquakezones.The roofline rises and the building narrows towardsthe sanctuary, creating a beautiful interior viewof the waves of cardboard columns as they bowtowards the altar. This is intended to welcome anddraw people in. The liturgical space is extremelyflexible – there is no fixed seating (the pews in themodel are intended for scale only). The body of theCathedral seats 500, and there is further spacefor 200 in a ‘landing area’/ atrium at the entranceend of the Cathedral. This is the space where itis anticipated that hospitality will be provided.Shigeru Ban has designed smaller container-spaceslined with cardboard tubes accessed by ‘wave-like’cardboard doors, and with ceiling funnels to allownatural light.
The building is based on the proportions of the nave In June of that year the Prime Minister’sof the original Cathedral. It is contextual, resembling Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust agreed toin shape wharenui on a marae. It also nods to our provide $50,000 funding to the Cathedral Chapterheritage: the first church in the city was a simple for a feasibility study into the transitional Cathedral.A-frame, erected near the Avon on Lichfield Street inJanuary 1851. The Transitional Cathedral will seat Shigeru Ban returned to Christchurch in late July700 people, and has a projected lifespan of well over with a design and scale model. The capital cost for20 years. Urbis magazine has said, “The design is... the Cathedral building and an annex containingstunning. Built, I imagine this project would have the offices, choir rehearsal rooms and additionalquiet spirituality and beauty of many other towering hospitality space has been estimated at $4-5million.stone cathedrals, albeit in a completely different, Warren and Mahoney will soon be commissioned tocontemporary, way.” undertake detailed design which will allow a morehttp://urbismagazine.com concise costing to be arrived at. It looks likely that the cost of the building will be covered in part fromTransitional Cathedral: the Cathedral’s insurances; mainly from a MaterialThe Story so Far Damage indemnity payout, also from BusinessAt its meeting on 25 May 2011, the Cathedral Interruption contributions. Extra fundraising willChapter adopted the proposal for the Transitional be engaged in to cover costs related particularly toCathedral and confirmed the concept. Shigeru the annex facility.Ban was approached with a view to designing atransitional Cathedral. He agreed to the project on Construction firm Naylor Love have been appointeda pro bono basis and in June he and his assistant, ‘Approved Contractor’ and we anticipate signingYoshie Narimatsu, visited Christchurch, where they a contract to commence construction in the nearwere able to meet with chapter members, CPT and future. Completion of the build is expected to bethe Bishop. sometime in November 2012.
Transitional Cathedral:Local InvolvementThe following local companies have offered theirservices pro bono for the Transitional Cathedralproject. Architects: Warren and Mahoney – PeterMarshall and Richard McGowan. The diocesanarchitects WAM are fully involved and supportiveof the concept. Richard McGowan of WAMhas described Shigeru Ban as “an internationalsuperstar”. Project Managers: Beca – Bob Blythe andJohnny McFarlane. Structural Engineers: HolmesConsulting – John Hare and Stuart Oliver. Materialstesting – Chris Allington / Fire Officer – Darin Millar.Materials: Sonoco – Andrew Ward Cardboardtube design and manufacture. Accommodation:The George Hotel – Bruce Garrett. Providing probono accomodation for Shigeru Ban and YoshieNarimatsu on their visits to Christchurch. AirNew Zealand - Providing sponsorship to facilitateinternational travel.
Transitional Cathedral: Safe as Houses, Sign of Hope Paper may appear to be a fragile material, but it is also able to bear substantial pressure. The same Contacts: could be said of the people who have suffered from the Christchurch earthquakes. At first they Fiona Summerfield are vulnerable, grieving and struggling to put Diocesan Media Advisor their lives back together. But as time goes by they Ph 027 515 8224 prove their resilience, and in the end they find email@example.com themselves stronger than before. The Transitional Cathedral presents an opportunity to tell the Rev Craig Dixon story of Christchurch’s damaged heritage, while ChristChurch Cathedral. building for the future; to provide a central venue Ph 021 239 0555 for community events and worship, to encourage firstname.lastname@example.org community resilience, attract tourists and build links with Japan. Through the Transitional Cathedral, we hope to rebuild and strengthen the connection between people and communities, and provide a symbol of hope as we travel the road to recovery.w w w . c h r i s t c h u r c h c a t h e d r a l . c o . n z | 0 3 3 6 6 0 0 4 6