Green building is the trend today and a growing number of construction companies around the world are practicing this in an effort to help in the global environmental preservation campaign. But if there’s one unique green structure that’s been put up using eco-friendly materials, it has to be the cardboard cathedral in New Zealand.
The Anglican cathedral of Christchurch suffered great damage during the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand two and a half years ago.
The structure had to be demolished to give way to a new one but the process had to be stopped last year due to protests by preservationists.
Thanks to the concern of a Japanese emergency architect, a temporary cathedral was built near the semi-demolished structure and is now open for services. But that’s not the end of the story because unknown to many, the newly built church utilized cardboards.
Shigeru Ban is responsible for building this temporary structure they call the transitional cathedral. This Tokyo-born architect is well known for using recyclable and affordable construction materials particularly the paper tubes and cardboards. He is also behind the restoration of the Takatori Catholic Church that was damaged by the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995.
The cardboard cathedral built by Ban in Christchurch features an A-frame and used materials such as timber, steel and 98 polyurethane cardboard tube-encased beams that weight 1,100 pounds each. The roof is made from polycarbonate and decked with triangular stained glass windows. The walls are made from recycled shipping containers while the floor is concrete.
Some of you might asking “Is the structure strong enough to last for many years?” The answer is yes. In fact, this cardboard cathedral has a lifespan of 50 years or five decades and is sturdy enough to withstand an earthquake. The experts say paper buildings are normally earthquake-resistant.
The Anglican cardboard cathedral finally opened its doors to hold services on August 11 this year. Bishop Victoria Matthews expressed deep gratitude during the turnover ceremony when she received the symbolic giant cardboard key from the contractors.