How Christ Church Cathedral will look after quake-damage revamp revealed

The concept design for Christ Church Cathedral, which was significantly damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, has today been unveiled.

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The cathedral in the Garden City was badly damaged in the earthquake. Source: Breakfast

The concept design for the reinstated Anglican cathedral and the two supporting buildings making up the "Cathedral Quarter" will see the cathedral as a centrepiece flanked by "modern buildings that both contract and complement it," the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project said today in a statement.

North of the cathedral will be a new visitors' centre featuring a cafe and terraced steps leading to a lowered, landscaped courtyard; museum; and retail.

South of the building will be the Cathedral Centre, which will provide "much-needed gathering spaces" along with offices and ammenities incorporating glass and timber textures to "promote light" and a "visual connection to the Square".

Right Reverend Dr Peter Carrell, the Anglican Bishop of Christchurch, said the reinstated cathedral will have more flexibility in how it functions, both internally and through its supporting buildings.

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But it comes with an almighty price tag. Source: 1 NEWS

"This is an investment in the future of the central city, Christchurch and Canterbury," he said. "The Anglican Cathedral is an iconic building at the heart of the city and the seat of our Anglican faith."

Right Reverend Peter said the cathedral will retain many of its heritage features, but will be "more welcoming" with "improved flexibility for worship and events". It will also have improved acoustics and a "refurbished and better situated organ".

Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited chair Justin Murray called the planned improvements to the Cathedral Quarter "a wonderful piece of design work" which is "distinctly Kiwi".

"The new modern buildings serve as a link to the contemporary buildings around the outside of the Square and are complementary to the Cathedral," he said.

Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited chair Justin Murray said the Cathedral Quarter is expected to "stimulate social, economic and tourism activity in Cathedral Square and the wider city". 

The project is expected to cost just over $154 million to complete. 

Murray said it has been known "for some time" that the cost of the project would exceed the $104 million estimated by the Cathedral Working Group in 2016. 

Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Trust chair Peter Guthrey said its fundraising target is approximately $51 million, which he called "ambitious yet achieveable". 

"We are confident that a wide range of people here in New Zealand and from around the world will provide support." 

Guthrey said over $100 million has already been raised for the project.