Christchurch’s cathedral, destroyed in the terrible earthquakes of 2011, is to be replaced by a cardboard cathedral. How’s that for innovative? I love it! Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is heading the project. He’s best known for his work in swiftly rehousing disaster survivors which would seem to make him ideal in this instance.
There are a few images (well a lot but here’s a few) online which are really intriguing.
To me, this looks like a Marae. One of the other kinds of architecture that intrigues me is Maori architecture with its linking of community, family, the people, spirituality and ways to make meaning of the world. I wonder how the Maori communities are feeling about the use of such a profound idiom by an architect outside of those communities? Is it culturally sensitive of him to use such inspiration? I guess we shall find out as the debate increases around the project.
What a beautiful way to replace a fixed stone building of a fixed, and frequently immutable, theology. I hope the parishioners benefit and appreciate what a meaningful building they’ll have in its fragility, connection to history and yet transient state as well given the material means it will return to the earth much more readily than almost any other kind of building. I’m really moved by it.