Three options for Christchurch cathedral rebuild

Three options for Christchurch cathedral rebuild
Restored, traditional or contemporary? Which way will the Christ Church Cathedral rebuild go?

Restored, traditional or contemporary? Which way will the Christ Church Cathedral rebuild go?

Three design options have been unveiled and over the next month the Diocese of Christchurch and the Church Property Trustees will take those choices to the public via presentations and forums.

three options christ church cathedral rebuild

Those three options are:

Restored – a back-to-foundations restoration of the iconic cathedral, but seismically strengthened. Quantity surveyors estimate this would cost a minimum of $104 million and up to $221 million, depending on how many years are needed to raise the money. If everything went to plan, restoring the building would take 6.5 years. But if fundraising is slow, the quantity surveyors suggest it could take more than 20 years to complete. 

Traditional – this option acknowledges the Gothic Revival form of the old cathedral, but veers away from heavy masonry and slate in favour of lightweight materials. It would be clad in lightweight glass reinforced concrete, with a laminated timber interior and a copper-over-ply roof. This option would feature a belltower – but in its upper reaches, this tower would be filigreed. Quantity surveyors estimate the traditional model cathedral would cost between $85 million and $181 million, and would take between five and 22 years to finish, again depending on how quickly money can be raised.

Contemporary – the modern option still acknowledges the past, with its central axis aligned along Worcester St, and the “praying hands” curved roof, recalling the vertical forms and pointed arches of Gothic Revival architecture. This option would feature a restored rose window on the western glass wall, and a glass and steel belltower. It has been costed at $56 million to $74 million and, depending on the time needed to raise funds, it could take between 4.5 and 9.5 years to build.

For more information and to provide your feedback, visit

Public feedback on the options will be collated and circulated to the Cathedral Project Group for review after May 3, after which the CPG, Church Property Trustees and the Diocesan Standing Committee will decide on their preferred option.

This option will then be delivered  to the High Court, which will have the final say.

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