Yes, it’s made of cardboard, but the cathedral that opened this week in Christchurch, New Zealand, is expected to last beyond the 50 years it will take to build a permanent stone replacement for the gothic structure that was destroyed in an earthquake in 2011. From Gizmodo:
The 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011 killed more than 200 people and damaged thousands of buildings, including the city’s oldest church, a grand stone copy of a gothic cathedral in Oxford. This week, two years after it fell, its replacement is open to the public. And it’s unlike anything ever built in Christchurch—or the world.
In the aftermath of the disaster, Christchurch officials invited Japanese architect Shigeru Ban to come up with a temporary solution to the city’s lack of a cathedral. Ban specializes in paper structures built with hollow (but strong) cardboard tubes. He’s built dozens of traditional buildings using this technique, and even more temporary ones in disaster zones.
Check out photos of the cardboard structure and more information here. The photos are quite stunning, I think.