Donnithorne unveils plan for church

Last updated 05:00 21/01/2013
Don Donnithorne cathedral proposal

PROPOSAL: Don Donnithorne's concept for a restored cathedral.

Related Links

Cardboard cathedral branded as 'risky' Mayor's vision: a cathedral in glass

Relevant offers

Christchurch Earthquake 2011

Woman who pinned her $472k theft on employer on post-quake trauma loses appeal Court throws out $6.5m insurance offer for Henderson property CTV engineer inquiry 'not in public interest' Gap Filler celebrates five years of brightening Christchurch's vacant spaces Earthquake insurer Southern Response sets aside $4m for legal fees Canterbury families tell their stories of quake rebuild Holy Trinity church bells set to ring Lyttelton again Christchurch's 100-day blueprint took 67 days with only 20-odd days of design Leukaemia battle for Christchurch boy who lost his father in February 2011 quake Oamaru woman reunited with fingers 80 years after death

Architect Don Donnithorne has unveiled his vision for Christ Church Cathedral in a bid to drum up enthusiasm for repairing the forlorn building.

Donnithorne is shocked at Cantabrians' "negative attitude" towards the cathedral.

"Time has moved on and the enthusiasm towards the cathedral has disappeared," he said.

The fate of the earthquake-damaged building has been a contentious issue, with many wanting it torn down and replaced, while others are fighting to have it restored.

Demolition began last year, but in November a High Court ruling ordered that work be stopped until further notice.

Donnithorne said repairing the cathedral made more sense than the "enormous disaster" of the cardboard cathedral, a temporary replacement being built near Latimer Square.

The remaining structure of Christ Church Cathedral was sound and could easily be strengthened, he said.

"I see this as a challenge which can be met.

"When you look at the ridge of the roof it is as sharp and true as it can be," Donnithorne said.

"The view of the cathedral from the south side, as you approach from Colombo St, is in perfect shape."

Donnithorne released concept designs for repairing the cathedral in April, but his tower drew unfavourable comparisons with the fairytale Rapunzel's Tower.

He envisaged a new tower, complete with "massive concrete pillars" that would strengthen the cathedral by linking the west end to the existing structure.

It would be to scale with the tower that collapsed in the February 2011 earthquake.

"This is a most dramatic occasion for restoration," he said.

"It could be one of the finest cathedrals in the world.

"I am determined to do all that I can to save that cathedral."

Ad Feedback

- The Press


Special offers
Opinion poll

Which memorial design do you like most?

Memorial Wall with a reflective pond

Table and Chairs

A Green and Peaceful Landscape

Call and Response

Riverside Promenade

A Curved and Inclusive Memorial Wall

Vote Result

Related story: Christchurch earthquake memorial designs unveiled

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content