Ground work starts on 'cardboard cathedral'
A model of the new cathedral, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban
The groundwork is beginning for Christchurch's cardboard cathedral and the Anglican Church says it could be ready in time for Christmas.
Preparation work for the foundations for the Transitional Cathedral begins on Tuesday morning.
"After 12 long months, to know that we are about to build, is fantastic," said cathedral staff member, Reverend Craig Dixon.
The temporary cathedral will be built from cardboard tubes on the corner of Hereford and Madras Streets, several blocks from the cathedral in the city square, which was badly damaged in last year's February 22 earthquake.
The new cathedral, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, will accommodate more than 700 worshippers and is expected to cost $4 million.
"If all goes to plan, completion by Christmas this year is possible," Rev Dixon said.
"There are still challenges ahead. In the end, the story of this build will be one of shared effort and generosity by businesses, groups and individuals, together, creating a sign of hope for our city and region."
Rev Dixon said the architect had visited last week and would be finalising details before construction began.
The budget was very tight but support from the design team and suppliers meant the church was confident it could build something of national and international significance.
The cathedral is expected to last for up to 10 years.
Officials are debating whether or not the Christchurch Cathedral, in the city's square, can be rebuilt.