Shigeru Ban: Cardboard Cathedral by Andrew Barrie, photographs by Bridgit Anderson and Stephen Goodenough (Auckland University Press, 2014), 252 pp., $59.99; Vertical Living: The architectural centre and the remaking of Wellington by Julia Gately and Paul Walker (Auckland University Press, 2014), 232 pp., $59.99; Bungalow: From heritage to contemporary edited by Nicole Stock, photographs by Patrick Reynolds (Godwit Random House, 2014), 284 pp., $80; Beyond the State: New Zealand state houses from modest to modern by Bill McKay and Andrea Stevens, photography by Simon Devitt (Penguin, 2014), 288 pp., $75; Down the long driveway, you’ll see it by Mary Gaudin and Matthew Arnold (Mary Gaudin), 336 pp., $65; Marae: Te tatau pounamu: A journey around New Zealand’s meeting houses by Muru Walters, Robin Walters and Sam Walters (Penguin Random House, 2014), 416 pp., $80.
It exists as a white peak, a pop-up monument, a kind of wharenui thrown up by earthquake weather. Shigeru Ban’s newly arisen Cardboard Cathedral is, as Auckland University architecture professor Andrew Barrie puts it, ‘one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the country’, a great New Zealand placemark, whose white soaring A-shape unmistakably echoes Samuel Butler’s description of the Southern Alps as resembling ‘a distant cathedral of pure white marble’. Ethereal and glimmering, it speaks to the myth of Christchurch as ‘the Shining City’. [Read more…]