$100 million Christchurch Catholic Cathedral complex

christchurch catholic cathedral

The new Christchurch Catholic Cathedral complex is estimated to cost $100 million.

The announcement was made Monday by the Coadjutor Archbishop of Wellington and Apostolic Administrator of the Christchurch diocese, Paul Martin.

The diocese hopes the whole complex will be completed within five years.

To fund the project Martin says the diocese is considering selling the site of the former Christchurch Catholic Cathedral in Barbados Street along with other surplus land.

The diocese will also launch a fundraising campaign to fund the project.

Martin says that raising money for the new Christchurch Catholic Cathedral will be a challenge but remains prayerfully optimistic the Cathedral Precinct Campaign will get the support of Canterbury Catholics, the wider community and the government.

He admits it will be a significant financial challenge but says he is looking to build something more traditional than modern.

“It needs to tap into why people loved the [former cathedral]. People loved the [former cathedral] because of the style and elegance.”

Current plans for the Christchurch Catholic Cathedral Complex represent a 40:60 split.

$40m for a 1,000 seat Cathedral and $60m for an open courtyard, offices for diocesan officials, a garden and parking.

Martin says projections to fully restore the former cathedral were costed at $149m and this was too expensive.

During the announcement, it was also revealed that two firms have been chosen as the architects.

American firm Franck & Lohsen Architects have been chosen as the lead design team and they will be supported by prominent Christchurch firm, Warren and Mahoney.

Franck & Lohsen were chosen because they specialise in Catholic architecture with a traditional design and have built churches all over the world.

Stuff reports that Art Lohsen visited Christchurch in 2018 and Michael Franck visited New Zealand last year to present concept designs for a potential new cathedral.

Franck said he wanted the new building to feel timeless.

“We hope to design a uniquely New Zealand-style cathedral, bridging a classical style of architecture with more contemporary styles.”

Martin says Franck & Lohsen came of their own volition.

Warren and Mahoney are well known New Zealand architects.



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