ChristChurch Cathedral May Get Cardboard Replacement

When New Zealand was struck by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in February 2011, the crumbled cathedral of ChristChurch quickly became a symbol of the city's destruction. The tremor left the cathedral, built in 1964, in complete ruins, destroying its Anglican church bell tower.

Six months later, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has developed a daring proposal to temporarily replace the church.

Ban suggests building a massive construction out of cardboard tubes that will seat 700 people. According to The Telegraph, each of the 86 tubes will weigh 1,102 lb and will rest on shipping containers serving as foundations for the building. Ban told the newspaper he estimates the cathedral will take three months to build. Officials hope the structure will be ready for the one-year anniversary of the earthquake. Once a more permanent replacement for the cathedral has been found, the cardboard structure can be relocated.

Ban is an expert in the construction of temporary structures. He has designed paper houses, pavilions and emergency shelters around the world and has participated in disaster-relief projects in places like Kobe, Turkey, India and Haiti, among others.

The February 2011 earthquake in New Zealand's second biggest city caused widespread destruction as the quake occurred at a shallow depth and its epicenter lay close to the city. 181 people lost their lives.