Cathedral built with cardboard and shipping containers


The city of Christchurch in  South Island of New Zealand witnessed a black period in February 2011 when a massive earthquake measuring a magnitude of 6.3 struck the city causing 185 deaths and huge damage to the city’s infrastructure. Amongst the several buildings, the iconic Christchurch Cathedral was one of them which was completely destroyed.

In an immediate response to the disastrous event, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban was asked to design a temporary space that could be used to hold services and events. Considering the budget and time constraints, Shigeru Ban came up with a very innovation and unique solution in the form of a cardboard cathedral. The cathedral with a capacity of 700 people is made from 98 cardboard tubes and 8 steel shipping containers.

To protect the structure from rain and fire, the paper tubes have been coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardants.  The tubes are covered with a semi-transparent, polycarbonate roof that allows sufficient day light and creates a protection layer from the outside weather conditions.  While one end of the cathedral holds a paper cross on a solid white wall, the other end consists of a triangular frame embedded with colourful stained glass pieces that render a church aesthetics to the temporary structure.










All Images © Bridgit Anderson

Shigeru Ban


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