'Middle course' plan for Christ Church Cathedral

Last updated 05:00 23/08/2014
Alana Kidd
An artist’s impression of Sir Miles Warren’s vision for a restored Christ Church Cathedral made from wood and copper.

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A leading Christchurch architect says he has created a "middle course" design for the Christ Church Cathedral that would see the landmark largely retained.

Sir Miles Warren has been working on detailed plans for a cathedral enabling much of the building's exterior to be saved and a timber construction created inside.

The slate roof would be replaced with copper. The upper part of the tower would also be replaced with timber and copper.

It was close to the original design of the cathedral which was meant to be built out of timber, Warren said.

"People are being told they need to agree with one or the other - repair or a new structure. Now there is a middle course."

He presented a version of the $35 million idea last year but it had been developed further. He had yet to hear back from the Anglican Diocese.

"It's achievable right away."

His plans come as the Great Christchurch Building Trust launched a campaign featuring aerial images of the cathedral which it says show that the building is not ruined. Trust co-chair Jim Anderton said it could be restored for $67m with no money needed from ratepayers or taxpayers.

"No replacement cathedral will be able match the cathedral for a similar cost."

The Anglican diocese has estimated the restoration would cost between $104 million and $221m.

Warren said the question was whether the cathedral could be retained with the money that was available.

"The answer is yes we can. This is the essence of the building but with new materials."

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