Shigeru Ban's transitional cathedral opens after two years of planning and construction
The opening of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban's transitional structure has been feted with a series of concerts and celebrations which culminated today in a grand dedication service.
The eye-catching building, made up of 98 thick cardboard tubes weighing up to 120kg and measuring up to 20m long, was built as a temporary replacement for Christchurch's iconic Cathedral, badly damaged in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in February 2011, which left 185 people dead and damaged many buildings.
A polycarbonate roof sits atop the structure which features triangular stained glass windows adorned with images from the original cathedral's rose window.
The new design is built to last up to fifty years - until a permanent replacement can be built - and can seat up to 700 people.
"It's a fascinating building, not only from an architectural and engineering point of view, but also because of the story it tells. It is a building which says much about Christchurch's resilience and creativity," said Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter.
And Acting Dean of Christchurch, Revd. Lynda Patterson says the Transitional Cathedral stands as a symbol of hope after the Canterbury earthquakes, and a place of hospitality and welcome for the city and the wider community.
Although the cathedral is primarily a place of worship, it will also be used as a venue for concerts and special events.