Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Cathedral is officially open to the public, just over two years after the crippling 6.3 magnitude earthquake ravished the New Zealand town of Christchurch. With an expected lifespan of 50 years, the temporary cathedral will serve as a replacement for the city’s iconic 1864 Anglican cathedral – one of Christchurch’s most prized landmarks – until a more permanent structure is built.
Disappointed that most architecture is built for the privileged, rather than society, Shigeru Ban has dedicated much of his career to building affordable, livable and safe emergency shelters for post-disaster areas. As described by TED:
Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda, or Japan. Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served their intended purpose.
Each year UdK Berlin organizes a small competition among the students for the concept of a Bookshop inside the School. This year’s winning proposal for the shop was designed by Dalia Butvidaite, Leonard Steidle, Johannes Drechsler and the all participating students then helped manufacturing the structure.
Cardboard as the main material was chosen because of its flexibility in shape, stability, cheapness, temporary feeling, lightness, mobility and last but not least its recyclability.