Cardboard cathedral on 'must see' list

PLACE OF WORSHIP: An artist's rendering of the cardboard cathedral.
PLACE OF WORSHIP: An artist's rendering of the cardboard cathedral.

Christchurch's Anglican cardboard cathedral may be months from completion, but it has already been crowned a world attraction by one of Australia's biggest newspapers.

The Sydney Morning Herald named the city's 700-seat transitional cathedral as the ninth best new attraction for globetrotters to visit in 2013.

Cardboard Cathedral project leader Craig Dixon said the $5.3 million structure was still receiving "huge interest" from people all over the world as it neared completion.

Cardboard tubes, each weighing 120kg, will form the cathedral's skeleton and are due to be erected today depending on the weather, he said.

Over the next three weeks about 100 six-metre tubes will be installed down both sides of the building to become the "main structural element" of the cathedral, Dixon said.

It is the first time cardboard tube cladding has been used in New Zealand.

The cathedral is predicted to be completed in April and has a life-span of over 50 years, Dixon said.

"Many people think this will be a temporary building, but it is being constructed as a permanent structure for at least 50 years. It is being built 100 per cent to code and I believe it will be there in 150 years," he said.

"As long as the people want it, it will remain. It will serve as a memory of what has taken place here in many years to come."

The cardboard cathedral was the brainchild of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who has been designing and building temporary structures for more than 30 years, many of which are now regarded as architectural icons.

The Press