Work is now complete on the concrete foundations of the transitional and controversial ‘cardboard cathedral’, located on land owned by the Anglican Church property trust on the south-east corner of Madras and Hereford Streets.

Under the direction of main contractor Naylor Love, Ashby's READY mixed, with assistance from sister company Allied Concrete, delivered to site approximately 720m3 of concrete, the equivalent of around 150 truckloads. 

Beginning at 4:00am, the marathon concrete pour lasted 7-hours.

At 900mm deep the foundations also contain about 120 tonne of reinforcing steel to ensure optimum seismic resistance. 

Ashby's READY mixed were more than happy to be involved in such a high-profile project, unique amongst buildings world-wide, says  Allied Concrete’s National Sales & Marketing Manager Glen Paterson.

“Ashby's READY mixed as a strong presence in Christchurch, as does Allied Concrete, so we are extremely pleased to form part of the team that is bringing this unique structure to life,” says Glen.

In addition to the substantial concrete foundations, the cathedral has gained much media coverage as a result of the 320, 6m long, 600mm diameter, 120kg cardboard tubes that will comprise the distinctive A-frame design.

Although covered by a polycarbonate roofing material, the cardboard tubes require three coats of polyurethane to ensure additional waterproofing.  Also, structural integrity will be ensured through the use of steel framing and LVL within each tube.

Designed by renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the brief stipulated a sustainable, safe, durable, beautiful, innovative and versatile building that was entirely compliant with the New Zealand building code, including a design life of at least 50-years.

Finance for the $5.3 million build is covered by a $4 million insurance pay-out from the ChristChurch Cathedral (although this is under review), while the majority of the additional $1.3 million is made up of time, labour and materials provided gratis by a number of local contractors and suppliers.

Having got off to a late start due to concerns about the weather, structural elements of the cathedral will be assembled off-site and then transported to site for erection.

It is anticipated that the frame will be essentially complete by Christmas, with the 700-seat capacity building ready for use by February 2013.


Taken from the December 2012 NZRMCA Newsletter

Images – Ashby's READY Mix