When “Temporary” Means a Decade
August 29, 2011
It’s been a horrible year for earthquakes (NY felt another during Hurricane Irene on Saturday!), and architects have been on the defensive — donating services pro bono, building temporary shelters for earthquake survivors, and so on.
Now, the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, has tapped one of the most active individuals in the aid effort — Japanese architect Shigeru Ban — to build a temporary church on the site of the city’s original 1864 cathedral, destroyed in the massive February earthquake.
Ban is famous for using paper and cardboard as load-bearing structure, and his Christchurch Cathedral builds on his previous research (he built a similar project in Kobe). But the most interesting thing about this project? It explores the murky territory between permanent and temporary, with a “use by” date of ten years from its construction. More info below.
The cathedral will reach a height of around 80 feet, accommodating 700 people, and cost only $3.5 million to build. Ban, who is working on the project pro bono, spoke to the Daily Telegraph, saying “It is very simple and easy to build. I think you have to build a future city that may be different from the previous Christchurch. You need to build a new Christchurch, not just bring back the previous one.”
All images (c) Shigeru Ban Architects.