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Customer Success Story: Warren and Mahoney

Rebuilding a resilient, inclusive Christ Church Cathedral in New Zealand


After extensive damage caused by an earthquake, architects helped restore Christ Church Cathedral in New Zealand, enhancing its resilience and inclusivity.

  • When a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2011, the town’s cathedral and central square were severely damaged.​ 


  • Architecture firm Warren and Mahoney partnered with residents and the area’s indigenous population to create a more inclusive design while preserving historical details. 


  • Using laser point scanning and cloud-based platforms, the firm rebuilt the cathedral to be more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive.

On Feb. 22, 2011, a shallow, intense, 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, near the city’s business center district, causing widespread damage and claiming 185 lives. The damage to the city’s buildings and infrastructure was severe, as these structures were already weakened from a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that occurred just five months earlier on Sept. 4, 2010.

Multiple buildings collapsed, roads were cracked, and water mains burst. Christ Church Cathedral—situated in front of Cathedral Square and considered to be the center and heart of the city—suffered extensive damage, to the point where no one could enter it. The cathedral and the square are very important to the people of Christchurch, including the local indigenous Tangata Whenua and Iwi.

But before the earthquake, there wasn’t much of an indigenous presence in the square, so when international architecture and design practice Warren and Mahoney began work on the project, the firm formed a partnership with residents of Christchurch and the area’s indigenous locals, retaining historical elements of the cathedral while rebuilding the square to be more inclusive. Watch the video to learn how Warren and Mahoney succeeded in rebuilding more sustainably, resiliently, and inclusively.

Watch how Warren and Mahoney created a more inclusive design while preserving historical details


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