Cardboard Cathedral

When discussing our notions of shelter, Christina and I agreed that it represented both physical and psychological protection. The idea of using coloured panels evoked the imagery of stained glass used commonly in cathedrals and churches. We like this visual and spiritual association that could be made by using a material that could filter coloured light into the shelter. Churches are places of worship but also of sanctuary and we are hoping to enhance the experience of the kitset shelter by creating a similarly welcoming atmosphere.

Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch is an inspiring precedent for this project and relevant to our post-disaster brief. Ban has been developing and designing emergency relief architecture since 1986 predominantly using cardboard tubes. The Cardboard Cathedral is built as an A-frame structure using these tubes which are coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardant.


The triangular stained glass façade introduces colour and light to the space.


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