Architecture To Watch In 2013: Part 1
January 2, 2013
Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Cathedral
Shigeru Ban’s exploration of cardboard as a legitimate building material has led him to craft temporary experiments for many a good cause. For this reason, Ban has been called, among the media at least, as a “disaster relief architect”, a problematic label that marginalizes Ban’s considerable talents and simplifies his design principles. Yes, he has successfully applied his smart, cheap solutions to grave problems that require quick, yet sturdy assemblages. But these designs have always been thoughtful and deliberate in their making of space while also meeting more pragmatic criteria. The same goes for the architect’s latest project, the “Transitional Cathedral” for Christchurch, New Zealand, which is to be constructed almost entirely of cardboard tubes. The church, which just broke ground, replaces the 1864 Christchurch Cathedral, torn down following extensive damages during a Februrary 2011 earthquake. Ban’s cathedral is intended to stand for just 10 years, long enough to find a more permanent replacement, though according to the BBC, the architect hopes his design catches on with the public and is granted permanent status.
Image: Shigeru Ban