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Christchurch gets cardboard cathedral

Officials this week approved plans for a transitional “cardboard” structure to replace the earthquake-ruined 131 year old Anglican Cathedral in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

The new NZ$5M (£2.6M) building will be partly built using cardboard tubes as well as timber beams and structural steel. It will sit on a concrete pad foundation.

The building will have an A-frame structure - considered suitable for an earthquake zone -and will be stabilised with shipping containers.

The design for the “emergency structure” was conceived by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. Architect Warren & Mahoney is to produce a detailed design and structural engineer Holmes Consulting has also worked on the scheme.

Naylor Love has been approved as contractor. Completion is expected by November.

The structure has been decreed to be a transitional building for use until a new permanent replacement cathedral can be built. Last month, officials decided to demolish the damaged cathedral down to about 2m to 3m above ground to make it safe. The cathedral authorities cannot afford the expected £52M funding shortfall on top of insurance money to pay for the rebuild.

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