Cardboard cathedral tubes arrive
Tue, 18 Sep 2012 6:13p.m.
By Hamish Clark
Construction of Christchurch’s cardboard cathedral is about to get underway, with the arrival of its 320 giant cardboard tubes.
But it's already running behind schedule, and the Anglican Church is $1 million short for the project, so it's asking for volunteers to paint the tubes.
At 6m in length and weighing 120kg each, the cardboard tubes look more like giant over-sized toilet rolls than a ceiling.
Project manager Johnny McFarlane is feeling positive about the structure.
“Three of these cardboard cores will make a single core," he says. "The final height of the cardboard cathedral is 6m, so it is a big structure, and imposing, and it is going to look beautiful when it is finished.”
A total of 2km of cardboard tubes, 320 in total, are required. Each will have laminated wood inserted for strength and covered by a clear corrugated roof.
“They will sit on top of containers and the containers will form some little chapels on the side of the cathedral and some office space and some kitchens. It’s going to be a great looking structure,” says Mr McFarlane.
Construction manager Stephen Lynch says there will be no need to worry about the structure’s strength.
“It is a really robust material, it really is. It is something I have never worked with before, but it has proven itself to be very tough and resilient.”
The unconventional design by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban will cost $5.3 million. Reverend Craig Dixon is worried about how the church will raise the money.
“We really do need to find about an extra million dollars, and that keeps me awake at night sometimes.”
The temporary cathedral will be about the same size as the nave of the old cathedral in the square with enough seating for 700 people.
Designed to withstand earthquakes, the next step is to paint the tubes to protect them from the elements.
“The tubes have to have three coats of sun defier,” Rev Dixon says. “It's a polyurethane... and we need 15 people a day for the next three weeks, starting tomorrow, to come along and wield a paint brush.”
The cardboard tubes will be erected on site in October, but not in time for any Christmas services as the project is running three months behind.
The cardboard cathedral will open in February next year, two years after the deadly earthquake.
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19/09/2012 12:27:42 a.m.
It's an absolute shame that there are still thousands of people without homes or without water, heating, and other necessities of life but they spend 5.7m on this structure that helps no one.
Assuming god exists and is responsible for natural disasters one could only conclude following this reasoning that god destroyed the first cathedral!
Waste less money on useless emotional solace seekers and help those whom really need it!
18/09/2012 6:58:53 p.m.
$6 million+ to be wasted on a replacement house of delusion, the original not being protected by the so-called all powerful god they like to believe in. That money could do a lot for the struggling folks around Christchurch. But that would not suit the church hierarchy.
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