Contractors begin work on the site of the Transitional Cathedral in Christchurch.
Artist's conception of Christchurch's Transitional Cathedral.
Christchurch's Transitional Cathedral moves closer to reality this Tuesday as contractors begin work on the foundations next to Latimer Square.
If all goes to plan, the building should be completed by Christmas.
Construction company Naylor Love has been contracted for the build after many months of discussions.
Cathedral staff member Craig Dixon said today: “After 12 long months, to know that we are about to build is fantastic.
"There are still challenges ahead. In the end, the story of this build will be one of shared effort and generosity by businesses, groups and individuals together, creating a sign of hope for our city and region.”
“Japanese architect Shigeru Ban visited last week to work with the design team and finalise details prior to construction. Some planning is still to be completed but we are at a point where the team believes it is time to now take up the challenge.
"The budget is very tight but thanks to enormous and ongoing support from our design team and suppliers, we are confident a building of national and international significance will soon grace our city.”
Mr Dixon said the project would cost around $5.4m. Up to $4m will come from earthquake insurance.
Donations so far amount to $120,000, leaving a shortfall of about $1.3m which Mr Dixon is confident of meeting through fundraising.
Mr Dixon said every effort had been made to ensure that the Transitional Cathedral would serve the needs of the cathedral and its surrounding communities.
"The structure has been designed for maximum safety and will be built 100% to code."
The cost of the foundations, however, was far more than originally planned because of the new safety requirements.
Mr Dixon estimated the foundations would cost $600,000 instead of the previous estimate of up to $150,000.
"Design and construction will be unlike anything previously seen in the city," Mr Dixon added. "The building’s size and scale is unprecedented in terms of Shigeru’s emergency architecture.
“Its simple beauty is a fitting tribute to all who have been affected by the events of September 4, 2010 and following.”
After 10 years, or at a point when a cathedral is completed in Cathedral Square, the Transitional Cathedral will continueas an inner-city church for the congregation of St John’s.
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