Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand, damaged beyond repair in the recent earthquake, is being replaced by a temporary structure made partly of cardboard. The new building will cost only $4m NZ dollars, which is roughly £2m. It will seat 700+ people and can be built in 3 months.
Cardboard is an ideal building material because it’s readily available, recyclable and surprisingly strong. “The strength of the building has nothing to do with the strength of the material,” says Shigeru Ban (the architect). “Even concrete buildings can be destroyed by earthquakes very easily. But paper buildings cannot be destroyed by earthquakes.” It’s also consistently low-cost. Normally after disasters the price of building materials goes higher, but since this is not a traditional building material, it’s very easy to get,” he says. Ban’s temporary buildings are weatherproof, fire resistant and secure, and have lasted for upwards of 20 years. They can be transported easily and deconstructed and recycled when their working life is over. If the Christchurch 'Cardboard Cathedral proceeds, the cardboard tubes will be locally produced.
more pics here. Bit late on this, as it was in the papers last week, but as an Anglican I see it as my duty to be slightly late on social trends. Can't help but feel it might get uncomfortably soggy if they built one in the UK, but I'm sure they've thought of that.