Christchurch: ruined cathedral, cardboard cathedral and college

The city was laid out around a cathedral square and now sadly the cathedral is partially ruined. It is a hotly debated topic – will it be torn down as it would be very expensive to fix, or will the public bow to protests to restore it? How can the heart of Christchurch not be critical and political. So it is currently being braced while it’s fate hangs in the balance. In the meantime, a Japanese architect has constructed a “cardboard cathedral” out of shipping containers and cardboard tubes. It’s beautiful and may last 50 years.

The earthquake was quite arbitrary in its destruction. A boys’ college was left apparently unharmed though many structures by the river had to come down or will do such as city hall.

I was on an excellent walking tour given by a lady in her seventies. She showed us around the CBD and showed us the future plan for Christchurch- a green belt where much of the destruction occurred. This would require buying back land from people. The boundaries have now shifted- what was once perhaps a rectangular plot of land might now be, well, any shape! Such is the nature of earthquakes – they liquefy land and ambiguate ownership.


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