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Published on Monday, April 16, 2012

Christchurch to build cardboard cathedral

A cardboard cathedral will be built in earthquake-devastated Christchurch to temporarily replace the one damaged by the 2011 earthquake in the New Zealand city.

Work on the 25-metre-high, NZ$5m cardboard version will start next week close to the quake-damaged cathedral and be completed in December.

''The cathedral is confident it will attract interest nationally and internationally, drawing additional visitors to the city," said a spokesman for the Transitional Cathedral Group.

Christchurch cathedral itself is to be demolished after it was deemed beyond repair.

The Transitional Cathedral, to be made mostly out of cardboard tubes, has been designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. It will have a seating capacity of 700 people.

Ban is known for his work in disaster zones, including Rwanda in 1994, Kobe after the 1995 quake, Turkey in 1999 and Haiti last year.

The structure, which will also incorporate timber beams, structural steel and a concrete pad, will be used as a place of worship until a permanent replacement for Christchurch cathedral can be built.

The proposed temporary structure, described as weather and fireproof, is projected to last for at least 20 years.

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