After the February 2011 earthquake, the Christ Church Cathedral Group contacted world-renowned architect Shigeru Ban to design a temporary cathedral which could seat 700 people. His innovative solution was an A-frame structure with massive cardboard tube rafters.

Naylor Love was heavily involved in the in the design phase of this world-first project, providing a great deal of practical building advice to complement Ban’s amazing design. An LVL-steel skeleton was developed to add seismic strength to the structure, as required under the building code. This made it one of the first engineered timber/steel hybrid structures in the country, a concept which has gained acceptance as a practical solution to increase the use of engineered timber in New Zealand’s seismic conditions.

“Naylor Love are simply one of the best contractors I have ever worked with in the world. Their attitude and willingness to help in all areas of this challenging project was commendable.”
Shigeru Ban, architect

We’re delighted that both locals and visitors have embraced the “Cardboard Cathedral” as a place of worship, an arts venue and a much-photographed tourist destination. Christchurch’s first iconic post-quake building is set to endure for many years.

Client: Church Property Trust
Completed: June 2013
Awards: ​Special Purpose Property Award. NZ Property Council Excellence Awards 2014.
Supreme Winner, Window Association of NZ Design Flair Awards 2014.


Christchurch, Engineered Timber, Leisure & Cultural, Pre-Construction, Seismic