A temporary cardboard structure is to be erected in New Zealand to act as a cathedral in the city of Christchurch after the devastating earthquakes of 2011.
Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who has previously designed other cardboard buildings such as shelters built for disaster relief in Ahmedabad, India. The cathedral is planned to stand for 10 years while a more permanent solution is designed and implemented.
Judging by some other famous temporary buildings though, it could be up for a whole while longer.
The origin of many of these temporary structures stems from the need for greater capacity in some form, which often comes in the form of a sporting or entertainment event.
Another use in which these structures are common is after natural disasters. Due to the speed that they can be assembled, many different organisations have used them as valuable resource in the face of adversity, such as the aforementioned cardboard design of Shigeru Ban.
Here are 4 of the most famous and enduring ‘temporary’ structures in the world.
1. The Eiffel tower
A centrepiece to the ‘Exposition Universalle’ which I think is a pretty substantial way to mark an event. The Paris skyline is one of the most recognisable in the world and it is hard to imagine Frances capital without it.
The Eiffel tower was originally meant to only be erected for 20 years, but it has now been standing for 123 years.
2. Pyramid Stage Glastonbury
Image by: Paul Holloway
The shape of the stage itself, leads some to believe that it has significance in harnessing powers from the sun and can even be attributed to transferring it power and energy to those on stage.
Although the Pyramid stage is a true temporary structure, being removed when the land is turned back into farmland each year.
3. London Eye
Much like the Eiffel tower, the London eye was supposed to be a temporary attraction that has since become one of the most recognisable parts of the London Skyline. It is also one of the most successful paid attractions in the city’s history with 3.5 million people enjoying the spectacle of London from 135 metres off the ground.
4. The Olympic Basketball Venue
The Olympic Basketball venue is set to become most of the recognised buildings used for the Olympics. It will play host to 7 Olympic and Paralympic events.
I suspect that out of all these buildings, the basketball court will be the one that will definitely be dismantled. The official Olympic site mentions that it will be “reused or relocated elsewhere in the UK,” and with 1000 tonnes of valuable steel making its structure, it seems like it might be one of surprisingly few temporary designs that will be dismantled in the future.
What is it about temporary structures for major events that compels us to preserve them?
It can’t be solely due to the buildings themselves.
I feel it’s much more likely that the structures become associated with successful, bustling communities, with celebrations, with joy.
Once you’ve experienced a building being used to enable thousands of revellers to enjoy themselves more than they’ve ever enjoyed themselves in their lives – well, I’d find it very hard to say goodbye to that.
Jonty Parser has made a living writing about the construction and property industries. He now writes for eMoov, one of the leading online estate agents UK about and consults his knowledge on properties that estate agents, Leeds and further afield have to offer.