Cardboard replica cathedral erected, then demolished in storm
A brief storm has ruined the chance to demolish Christchurch's most temporary cardboard cathedral.
The 16m-high structure, made from about 1300 cardboard boxes, was built by hundreds of volunteers on Saturday. It was based on a design by French artist Olivier Grossetete.
The plan had been to pull it down on Sunday afternoon but an abrupt hailstorm scattered the boxes.
The structure was erected the same day the Synod made the historic decision to restore the Christ Church Cathedral, which had been in limbo since being damaged in the 2010 Christchurch earthquake.
The cardboard box project, known as the Ephemeral City, is part of the Christchurch Arts Festival.
Festival marketing and communications manager Sally Woodfield said members of the public who stumbled upon the structure were "amazed at what had been put together just with cardboard and tape and a very clever french artist".
She said the rain, wind and hail on Sunday caused the structure to "come down prematurely" in a general corkscrew fashion at about 1pm.
They were planning to start demolition at about 3pm, and the building would have come down in a similar way to how it did, Woodfield said.
Festival director Craig Cooper said the brief he gave to Grossetete was to "do something that really responded to the gothic architecture of Christchurch".
"What he wanted to do was really create something that responded to the cathedral. His view was that [the cathedral] was the heart and soul of that architectural movement in Christchurch."
Grossetete said after the last cardboard box had been put in the bin, what was left was "very good memories of making something together".
"The project belongs to people from the beginning to the end."
The roof of the installation was built first, before volunteers lifted the structure to allow lower layers to be added. Ropes were used to keep the building steady while it was being constructed.
Grossetete has created cardboard works all around the world, including a tower in New Plymouth's Pukekura Park last weekend.
The Christchurch Arts Festival runs until September 17.