Final Cathedral design options unveiled

21:38, Apr 03 2013
OPTION ONE: Restoration.
OPTION THREE: Contemporary.
OPTION TWO: Traditional.
Christ Church Cathedral
The interior of the cathedral as it was.
Christ Church Cathedral
The interior of the traditional design.
Christ Church Cathedral
The interior of the contemporary design.

Which one of these would you like to see in Cathedral Square?

This is your chance to have a say on the future of Christchurch's most iconic building.

Design options for a new Christ Church Cathedral have been unveiled by Anglican leaders - and they want to know what you think.

The three options are a complete restoration, a reinterpretation of the neo-Gothic cathedral in modern materials and a completely new building. All three designs incorporate the iconic Rose Window in the west wall facing Cathedral Square.

The restoration option would cost the most and could take the longest to complete, but would involve the demolished spire being rebuilt.

Anglican leaders believe a restored cathedral could meet building codes, but would not be as seismically resistant as a new building.


The traditional option would reinterpret the original cathedral in modern materials, but the internal spaces would be reconfigured. The modern option would feature a lightweight timber frame, more glazing and modern interiors.

The three designs are being made public as part of a consultation process on the future of the cathedral. Press readers, the public, local officials and the wider Anglican church will be consulted before Anglican leaders decide the fate of the building after consultation closes on May 2.

The process will include consulting the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, Christchurch City Council and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Anglican leaders will invite the different bodies to meet, discuss the options and provide written feedback.

But Bishop Victoria Matthews has hinted in an opinion piece in The Press today that she may favour the modern option.

"The Cathedral needs to encourage the mission of God across the region and beyond. This means having a new Cathedral in the square in a reasonable time frame and a beautiful building that will not cost so much that the Cathedral is built at the expense of ministry to and by the people," Matthews wrote.

The modern design is the cheapest and fastest option, taking less than ten years and costing as much as $74 million to build.


Option 1: Restoration
Cost $104M-$221M
Time 6.5 - 22 years
A complete restoration of the original cathedral.

Option 2: Traditional
Time 5-22 years
A re-interpretation of the original Gothic revival building in modern materials.

Option 3: Contemporary
Cost: $56M-$74M
Time: 4.5 - 9.5 years
A contemporary new building with a sculptural spire.


The Press is supporting a public forum to allow people to ask questions about the Christ Church Cathedral options.

The forum features a panel comprising representatives of the Diocese, architects Warren and Mahoney and project managers RCP.

Conference space at the Westpac Business & Community Hub, 55 Jack Hinton Dr, Addington (next to the CBS Canterbury Arena). April 10, 7.30pm. 

The Press