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.
Almost demolished after the earthquake in 2011, Christchurch center was required a renovation. The challenge for architects Zotov & Co was to recall a livable city center. After asking the question of what is needed to be happy, the architects chose nature and communication as the foundation of their concept. The center for the quarter an island covered, dense forest which concentrates all social activity. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Shigeru Ban just can’t get enough of paper tubes. The Japanese architect, renowned for his design of structures that can be quickly and inexpensively erected in disaster zones, is at it again in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, which was hit hard by a devastating earthquake last February. The earthquake of magnitude 6.3 killed over 200 people and inflicted irreparable damage on the city’s iconic gothic cathedral of 132 years. The cathedral was a copy of one in Oxford, England, and was one of the most famous landmarks of the Christchurch, pictured on postcards, souvenirs and tea towels.
A pioneer in so-called “emergency architecture,” Shigeru Ban has begun construction on a highly anticipated, unique replacement: a simple A-frame structure composed of paper tubes of equal length and 20 foot containers. The tubes will be coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardants that the architect has been developing since 1986 – years before environmental friendliness and the use of inexpensive recycled materials were even a concern in architecture.
Read more about Ban’s visionary Cardboard Cathedral after the break…
As a collaborative effort involving urban designers, architects, economists, and developers, the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan was assembled as a video to present to the public. Led by the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) in New Zealand, which is part of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), the plans for the central city rebuild was released earlier this week as a response to the earthquake sequence in Canterbury which destroyed most of the building stock in the CBD. This distinctive, vibrant, and green 21st century city has been met with overall positive feedback, which demonstrates the importance of shared ideas on rebuilding after natural disasters. On a global scale, all cities ad towns are at risk for natural disasters, and as many of us know, preparation is key to recovery. Like the video above, the power of public opinion can really have a major impact on these types of plans and give us both a feasible and optimistic view of the future.
As you may know, an earthquake has destroyed most of the Christchurch City Centre and many of the surrounding suburbs. We want to rebuild with a plan for a sustainable future but we need help getting there. Put simply: We need advice, experience, know-how, and designs on the best ways to implement sustainable change. We have the energy of the people and support of the government with $15 billion earmarked for the rebuild. But we lack visions for how a sustainable city will look and function. We know solutions exist and invite the contributions and experience of designers from around the world. A socially, economically and environmentally sustainable city is not beyond our capacity. Can you help us get there?
It is my hope that collaborations between local and global communities will have the power to enact change. We are using Reddit as our central meeting place. Reddit is an online community that has gained notoriety for its ability to solve real-world problems. Can our local community and the reddit community work together to design solutions? Can we tap the greater global wisdom to address our community’s needs? Specifically we are asking for proposals. These can be submitted to our page on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/projectChristchurch/ or emailed directly to (projectChristchruch@gmail.com).