Project Description


Christchurch, New Zealand

Project Description

CREDITS: Shigeru Ban / Holmes Consulting Group / Naylor Love Construction / Carter Holt Harvey

Cardboard Cathedral Relies on Strength of Timber.  Behind the much publicised cardboard tubes that are the feature of the Transitional Cathedral in Christchurch lies the strong timber backbone that gives this innovative design its structural integrity. These 16m to 20m long specially laminated beams were fabricated in TimberLab’s (previously McIntosh) Auckland factory.

Fabricated in TimberLab’s (previously McIntosh) Auckland factory these 16m to 20m long specially laminated beams use CHH high strength LVL. The original billets of raw LVL from the CHH plant in Marsden Point were supplied to Timberlab in 45mm and 63mm thickness to be laminated into finished sections up to 600 x 213.

It is around these strong timber elements, creating the impressive A-frame form, that the main contractor Naylor Love have threaded the 600mm diameter cardboard tubes. To make sure of a snug fit, TimberLab used their large beam planer to profile the 600 x 213 beams with radiused edges for the cardboard tubes to neatly slide over.

Once delivered to Christchurch and encased in their cardboard cocoons, Naylor Love completed the assembly and began the intricate installation of these pre-finished columns. The complex geometry involving increasing span and decreasing height means that each column leans at a different angle.

At the rear of the Cathedral a feature Rose wall of coloured glass is also formed using fabricated LVL and will form a bright and attractive focal point welcoming worshippers to this new facility.

TimberLab are proud to add this project to the growing list of significant single and multi-storey structures incorporating fabricated LVL.