Revitalizing an Earthquake-Ravaged Cathedral Through Digital Collaboration

01 April 2021News

  • In 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, devastated the city’s iconic cathedral—now, a project is underway to rebuild it.
  • Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited (CCRL) is a complex undertaking with five phases and expected completion in 2027.
  • Architects and engineers are using digital collaboration to reinstate the Christ Church Cathedral as the city’s spiritual heart and civic nexus.

In 2011, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, a city on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The quake caused considerable destruction, and the Christ Church Cathedral suffered major damage to its facade, western porch, and adjacent walls. Its 118-foot tower and 88-foot spire also collapsed.

It took 40 years to build the Christ Church Cathedral; the cornerstone was laid in 1864 and construction completed in 1904. The building has served as a historic place of heritage, a sacred place of worship, and a civic place of gathering. With its demise, the cathedral signified a broken city.

The Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project is going to bring Christ Church Cathedral back to life. Led by Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited (CCRL), the project will restore the cathedral as a symbol of hope and healing, retaining many of its heritage features while making the building safer.