Christchurch, New Zealand, was hit very hard by an earthquake in February 2011, with 185 deaths. Its cathedral was damaged so badly that it had to be replaced. The beauty of towering stone is not always a good thing. So how can you safely create a beautiful and monumental place of worship? Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has done it with cardboard. Here is Christchurch’s brand new cathedral:


Monumental cardboard, incorporating stained glass, and expected to last 50 years. That is interesting in itself, but I am particularly intrigued by Ban’s focus on humanitarian activities, and his sense that architecture – to the extent that it only serves the needs of the rich and powerful – has lost its way as a profession. He embodies a social conscience within practical considerations of cost, speed, and the needs of his end clients. This is a marriage of idealism with the purest business acumen.

Much more of his work, and a link to a TED Talk, can be seen here.

The New Zealand Distributor for our Income/Outcome workshops, Leon Grandy of Armillary Private Capital, combines the banker’s prudence with the risk of living in prime earthquake territory. He lives in the capital, Wellington, which has been rocked by a couple of magnitude 6.5 earthquakes in the past month alone. Please stay safe, Leon!

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