Anglican leaders quizzed by public

21:24, Apr 10 2013
cathedral landscape
FORUM: The Christ Church Cathedral public forum in Christchurch tonight.

9.05pm: Press editor Joanna Norris closes the forum and thanks the crowd for their "polite" participation. A full report of the event will be published in tomorrow's Press.

9.04pm: The panel is asked how much "careful" deconstruction would cost for options two and three. Read says deconstruction would cost $6-7 million.

9pm: The panel is asked what fundraising provisions have been made to date. Holley says fundraising would not start until an option had been chosen. A woman says she is concerned about the stability of the land under the cathedral after hearing there was flooding under the building during the quakes.

Cathedral rebuild design
OPTION 1: To rebuild the cathedral as it was.

Gregory said Holmes Consulting believed the land the cathedral is currently built on is some of the best in the central city. 

"If there is flooding in the area it's related to leaks in the basement of the existing cathedral."

8.59pm: A woman asks what provision will be made for amplification services so people can hear the services. Gregroy said they "definitely will be provided".


Cathedral traditional design
OPTION 2: A traditional design is one of the suggestions for a new Cathedral.

8.58pm: An audience member asks whether other options the team considered could be made available for the public to see. Gregory said the team needed to proceed with the three options that had been presented.

8.57pm: The panel is asked whether more images were available of the interior of the contemporary design. Gregory said all available images were available on the Cathedral Conversations website.

8.52pm: The panel is told one of the problems with Cathedral Square is noise, with the questioner worried a lightweight building would not be able to block out noise from the square.

Cathedral contemporary design
OPTION 3: This contemporary design for a new Cathedral is attracting attention.

He was also concerned the new options would not have the capacity for the grand old bells the original cathedral did. 

Gregory said he believed all options would be soundproof from Cathedral Square and the bells were a "fundamental" part of the cathedral.

8.47pm: The panel is asked how much could be saved if the new cathedral did not have a tower. Read said the team had looked at options without a tower, but it "does actually diminish it's presence in the square".

Option one would be about $12 million cheaper without a tower, option two would be $10 million cheaper, and option three would be about $5 million cheaper without a tower.

8.43pm: An audience member suggests some of the old cathedral "which is so precious to us all" should be incorporated into the new design. Gregory said the design guidelines did not allow provision for keeping significant parts of the damaged cathedral as had been done in Coventry. 

8.41pm: A man suggests the forum has been a "propaganda exercise for getting the old cathedral demolished".

"Absolutely yes, there will be a cathedral built back in the square," Gavin Holley replied. 

8.39pm: A woman asks whether having a copper roof on the contemporary option would have a negative impact on Christchurch's waterways. Gregory said he did not believe there would be an issue.  

8.34pm: The panel is asked which option is safer and why there are no base-isolators included in the plans for the third option.

Gregory said the cost estimators believed base isolators were not necessary for the third option .The traditional and contemporary options would be equally safe, but the restoration option would not be completely safe if another major earthquake happened, no matter how much strengthening work was done.

"I'm not scare-mongering," he said.

8.30pm: The panel is asked how big the footprint of the new cathedral would be, with the questioner saying he understood it would be only 1000 square-metres, meaning it would cost $200,000 per square metre.

"How can you justify $200,000 a square metre."

Marcus Read said the was based on a figure of about $150,000 a square metre, but the cost could escalatee to $200,000 if the fundraising process took a long time because of rising construction costs and inflation.

8.25pm: The panel is asked whether RCP has considered whether it would be easier to fundraise for a restoration of the cathedral, rather than a contemporary building.

Diocese chief operating officer Gavin Holley said it was a "subjective matter", but all information about fundraising and the risks around fundraising were on the Cathedral Conversations website.

8.22pm: An audience members asks why the church cannot take on a loan or mortgage to cover the shortfall. Bishop Victoria Matthews says the church could not consecrate a building that was still in debt.

8.20pm: The forum has been opened to questions from the audience, with the first person asking what materials would be used in the contemporary option. 

Gregory says the contemporary option would have a timber interior and largely-copper exterior. The lower register of the building, including the ancillary buildings, would be clad in stone from the existing building and the tower would be made of steel and glass.

8.10pm: Marcus Read says all material the trustees will be considering is on the Cathedral Conversations website, including structural reports and financial reports.

Read said the diocese had only $30 million remaining in insurance money, meaning it needed to fundraise the rest of the money.

Fundraising costs added another 10 per cent to the bill and the longer it took to fundraise, the more the total bill would be.

"In reality we need to do something in the next 5 to 10 years."

Read explained the full cost estimate and timeframes for the three options.

Option 1: Restoration

Cost $104m-$221m

Time 6.5 - 22 years

Option 2: Traditional


Time 5-22 years

Option 3: Contemporary

Cost: $56m-$74m

Time: 4.5 - 9.5 years

8.07pm: Gregory said all three options represented a "strong level of continunity with the massing, the location, the architecture of Christchurch as it stands".

8pm: The contemporary option would still have a crossing and a knave and would have its entrance facing the west, Gregory says.

The interior of the building would be slightly taller than the original cathedral because of the trusses, but the shape and location of its various features would be very similar. The contemporary design also allowed for a number of ancillary buildings and green courtyards.

7.55pm: Gregory says many options were considered for the new building, but only three fulfilled all the criteria: full restoration, traditional and contemporary. Option two - a traditional design using modern materials - would be "lighter" than the original building.

It would use light-weight materials, but also be a lighter colour. The interior would be entirely timber, featuring a truss roof with rising arches and the timber structure would allow for larger windows.

The design allowed for a number of small, one and two-storey ancillary structures around the main building, providing spaces for education and offices, a children's chapel and a cafe.

Green courtyards would lie between the cathedral and the ancillory buildings and would be open to the public, but could be closed off if needed.

7.50pm: Bill Gregory, of architects Warren and Mahoney, says the cathedral was the "heart of the city".

The design guidelines had identified a number of themes the diocese felt was important for the new cathedral, including the need for a sacred space that was connected to nature, having a sense of transcendence and intimacy, acknowledging various cultures, and ensuring a positive-outlook for the church's future.

Sustainability was also a "very strong theme" for the diocese "from having a sustainable approach to energy and building and the organisation itself."

7.45pm: Marcus Read, of project managers RCP has told the forum how those involved in planning the new building have had to consider what shape the cathedral should take for the next 150 years.

Read said there had been a lot of work put into research and consultation and now was the "exciting part" of the planning process.

7.40pm: Bishop Victoria Matthews says a cathedral should be "awe-inspiring", but welcoming to all. 

The three Cathedral options were "very important" to the Anglican diocese, and each offered "incredible beauty ... and transcendence".

"One of my firm beliefs is that whenever we meet beauty in our life, we invite growth. We become more than we ever thought we could be.

"It is for you to decide what the Christ Church Cathedral will become for you."

7.35pm: More than 200 members of the public have gathered for a forum to discuss the future of the Christ Church Cathedral.

Press editor Joanna Norris opened the forum, saying the cathedral was a "symbol of the city" but also a "symbol of all that we have lost".

"We think it's essential that all of you have a say in the future of what goes on that site."

The forum would include presentation on each of the three options proposed to replace the earthquake-damaged Cathedral Square building.

Bishop Victoria Matthews would speak on the role of the cathedral in the city.

The forum would also hear from Marcus Read, of project managers RCP, and Bill Gregory of architects Warren and Mahoney.

The public would then have an opportunity to ask the panel questions about the proposed designs.

Three cathedral options

Anglican leaders last week revealed three options to replace the earthquake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral.

The options included a complete restoration, a reinterpretation of the neo-Gothic cathedral in modern materials, or a new building.

All three would 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.

The Press