Christchurch enjoys pop-up revolution
14 Dec 2011
Pop-up is the new buzz word in Christchurch where a funky container mall is bringing Christchurch locals back into their city centre for a unique new shopping experience.
It’s all part of a pop-up revolution that is helping to get the city back on its feet after the earthquake earlier this year.
The biggest and brightest of the pop-up projects is the new Re:Start pop-up city mall - a colourful retail precinct with 27 stores, including High Street brands, upmarket boutiques, cafés and a department store.
It’s not the first container shopping mall in the world but this one has been built with real Kiwi style.
Created around courtyards and recreational spaces, the mall is a collection of brightly-coloured shipping containers with glass frontages and balconies, and set beside Christchurch’s iconic Ballantynes department store which has re-opened its doors after major reburbishment.
There are plans to add more shops and cafés as summer progresses.
The mall is just one part of a wider pop-up story that is happening in various locations in Christchurch.
The Carlton Country Club is a quirky new pop-up mobile bar on the site of the old Carlton Pub, Revival Container Bar is on Victoria St, while the new Cargo bar has settled into a suped-up container on Lincoln Rd. And, in suburban Fendalton, a portable sustainable building called The Hut has become Maude’s on Holmwood café.
Hagley Park’s Events Village Park - in the world’s third largest city park - is a substantial installation that has become the hub for major Christchurch happenings.
It was fan zone central during Rugby World Cup, and will soon be welcoming buskers from around the world for the 10-day Christchurch World Buskers’ Festival.
New Court Theatre
Another substantial pop-up, The Shed - the new NZ$4.62 million Court Theatre venue - also tells a story of Canterbury community spirit at work. Built inside an old granary, the new theatre opened for its first public show on Saturday (10.12.2011).
Since the existing theatre was closed nine months ago, the community has raised almost all the funds, and seen the project started and completed in just 16 weeks.
Christchurch mayor Bob Parker described the opening of the new central city shopping mall as the start of Christchurch’s come-back.
"As a city we’ve gone through some very tough times but we’re getting back on our feet and this project shows how, with creative thinking and determination, we can build a vibrant, people-friendly city that visitors will want to come back to time and time again.
"We’ve got big dreams for this city and we’re determined to turn those dreams into a reality.’’
It seems that Parker’s hopes have been backed up by influential global magazine Foreign Policy which has listed Christchurch as one of the top international cities that will shape the next century.
The list of 16 cities most worth watching was compiled by Harvard University economist Edward Glaeser and Columbia University sociologist Saskia Sassen. Christchurch sits at No 9 on the list, after Sao Paulo in Brazil and before London.
For current information on Christchurch's pop-up evolution, check out this dedicated website: www.popupcity.co.nz
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