Saturday, 12 October 2013

Finally Finished - Cardboard Cathedral!

The biggest (and most challenging) project in Martin's surveying career is finally finished! A tremendous effort spanning 12 months, 98 cardboard tubes, 100+ construction workers and many, many 'I've had a horrible day at work, please make me a brew' cups of Yorkshire tea.

The building - designed by globally renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban - was originally intended as a temporary structure to replace the original neo-Gothic Anglican Cathedral until it is rebuilt following the destruction caused by the 2011 earthquake. It now has a forecasted life-span of 50 or more years, to stand as one of New Zealand's most iconic structures.

The building seats up to 700 people, with 300 chairs custom-designed by Ban to resonate with the unique materials of the high-ceilinged nave. Nearly every object found within the 800m2 structure is made in likeness of the cardboard tubes: from the 6m tall cross to the donations boxes and prayer room doors.

The magnificent stained-glass window was inspired by the original Cathedral's famous Rose Window. Dubbed the 'Trinity Window', the design was created by one of Ban's team of architects - Yoshie Narimatsu - and incorporates images from the original window. While only shattered fragments remain of the rose window, the Trinity Window was designed to create the impression of these broken pieces restored to their former beauty.

This is by far my favourite element of the design, as the light that floods the cathedral during a sunny day casts breath-takingly lovely pools of multi-coloured light on the concrete floor, emulating the feeling of peace you get upon walking into a such huge space that lends itself to quiet contemplation.

A few weeks after the completion date in August, we were invited to attend a 'Hard Hat Workers' service and BBQ at the Transitional Cathedral (to give the building its official title!), during which the Church gave thanks to everyone involved in the project and all the months of planning and problem-solving. It was so nice to see Marts receiving acknowledgement of all his hard work and left me a very proud lady-friend!

1 comment:

  1. The profile of the ceiling frames the crucifix perfectly... God must surely be very impressed and if not, it's surely because He doesn't exist ;)