Earthquake destroyed cathedral being rebuilt with cardboard - New York News

Earthquake destroyed cathedral being rebuilt with cardboard

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A Christchurch, New Zealand cathedral that was destroyed by a 2011 earthquake is being rebuilt using cardboard.

A magnitude 6.3 quake on Feb. 22nd, 2011 destroyed much of the cathedral in Christchurch.  185 people died in the quake.

Nearly two years later, it remains in its damaged state as plans to make the structure safe slowly unfold.

Japanese architect Shingeru Ban has been involved in 'Emergency Architecture' since the mid-1980s.

The transitional Cardboard Cathedral project construction began in July 2012.  The church is still looking for donations to complete the project.

Paper tubes of the equal length and 20 ft containers form triangular shape of the building.  104 24-inch diameter tubes will go into the finished building that will rise 82-feet.

The cathedral will have a capacity of 700 people.

The designer says cardboard is an ideal building material because it's readily available, recyclable and surprisingly strong.

"The strength of the building has nothing to do with the strength of the material," says Ban. "Even concrete buildings can be destroyed by earthquakes very easily. But paper buildings cannot be destroyed by earthquakes."

It's also low-cost and being built to last more than 50 years.  Ban says the building will meet New Zealand's earthquake code.

When the project was announced, many people were worried that the cardboard would collapse in the rain.  That issue is being solved with a polycarbonate roof.  The tubes themselves are also being coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardant chemicals.

The goal is to open the cardboard cathedral in February, 2013.

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