Gap Filler’s Summer Pallet Pavilion!
Corner of Durham and Kilmore Streets
Open from early December 2012 – April 2013
Gap Filler has harnessed the goodwill and desire of Christchurch residents and businesses to construct a new temporary events venue for the city. A visually engaging and dynamic space, the Summer Pallet Pavilion is built from over 3000 wooden pallets and is a showcase for the possibilities of innovative transitional architecture in a city that is ready to embrace new ideas.
Designed by emerging designers, supported by established professionals, and built from loaned, reused and donated materials using volunteer, professional and community labour, it is a testament to the effectiveness of a collaborative and community-minded process. That creative ethos continues through its use, as the Pavilion will host live music, outdoor cinema and a wide range of other events from Thursday to Sunday and is also available for hire by any individual or community organisation at other times.
A community venue
Over the summer, the Pallet Pavilion will help to address the city’s need for new small-to-medium sized venues, after the loss of clubrooms and community halls demolished as a result of the earthquakes. Located on the prominent site of the former Crowne Plaza Hotel, at the head of Victoria Square, the Pavilion also aims to draw people back into Christchurch city, supporting central businesses and promoting the central city as a place for experimentation. It will be a family-friendly venue and something uniquely designed for Christchurch!
The Pavilion opens in early December 2012 and remains on site through the summer months. The blue exterior conceals a secret garden, with landscaping creatively integrated into the walls and stepped seating. The selection of plants will bloom over the course of the summer. With a capacity of 200 people, the pavilion will be open daily as a public space and host organised events most evenings. It will be equipped with a basic sound system, a small triangular stage and a video projector and screen.
Thursday to Saturday the Pavilion will be used largely as a venue for live music in a city that has lost many live music venues. For the rest of the week it will be available to the community for a small hire fee. A limited number of paying corporate events will contribute to the Pavilion’s ongoing running costs. The general day-to-day programming and running of the venue will be done by local father and daughter duo, Amy and Glen Jansen, who will run the space with Gap Filler’s support. The desire is to create an intriguing and welcoming space for people to visit, spend time and use.
A hive of newly activated vacant space
The Summer Pallet Pavilion will sit alongside other interesting projects to create a temporary events square for Christchurch and reinstate public access from Victoria Street to Victoria Square. The now-visible axis between the two will be framed by tall arcade structures initiated by Life in Vacant Spaces and the Festival of Transitional Architecture. The Arcades Project will host regular markets and other outdoor events. In addition, CPIT architectural studies students are building what will become a supervised public earthen pizza oven. With the support of the Christchurch City Council the area will be brought back to life with a range of activities all summer long.
Collaboration, constraint and community spirit: the story of the Summer Pallet Pavilion
Remarkably, Gap Filler has achieved a project of this scale with a tiny budget and the dedication of only two full-time staff. This is possible only because more than 80 volunteers and 40 businesses partnered up and offered their time, energy, expertise and enthusiasm. This Pavilion is proof that with a shared vision and common goal amazing things are possible! The restrictions of time, budget and resources force creative solutions, experimentation, and community involvement. ‘Business as usual’ is not an option and we think that’s a good thing.
Most of the salvaged and borrowed materials used in the construction will be returned and put to future uses after the Pavilion is deconstructed. The pallets will be returned to CHEP and put back into circulation upon completion of the project. The Pavilion’s temporary foundation is made up of floor slabs from the demolition of the nearby Clarendon Hotel. Upon completion of the project, the slabs will go off to become bridges or culverts for Canterbury farmers. The furnishings are made from CHEP’s plastic crates, and once the project closes they will also be returned and put back into circulation.
While everyone who came to make this project possible deserves acknowledgment there are a few key figures that deserve a standing ovation and sincere applause for their commitment and contribution. Trent Hiles and Coralie Winn from Gap Filler managed the team, materials and how to actually build the thing! This was done alongside Jason Mill (Pivnice and ZNO) who was responsible for the consent process and overseeing the design through construction. Andrew Just (F3 Design) also provided support through the design and consent process. The pavilion design was lead by Camia Young along with Sean Belling and Jordon Saunders of Studio Okan. They worked in close collaboration with recent landscape architecture graduate Kirsten O’Connor (Outlandish Landscapes), who was mentored by landscape architect Matt Lester (Earthwork). The magician on the team has been the lighting designer, Kevin Cawley (Lighting Design).
Aurecon has been integral to the design team from the very early days, sponsoring engineering services from Luis Castillo, Mark Willard, David Elliot and Rose So-Beer (structure) and Paul Martini (fire). The lighting engineer is Andrew Johnston (Enlightenz).
Dan Freeman from Higgs Construction and Trent Hiles from Gap Filler took the drawings and a flurry of volunteers and ostensibly effortlessly managed the building process and the materials. Big kids Meccano is how we like to think of it! Sally Airey, Sharon Moreham, Simon Guernsey and Jessica Smale coordinated the influx of 150+ volunteers, who collectively offered more than 2,500 hours of labour! In true Gap Filler fashion we designed and are building this project through collaboration and community support.
Gap Filler would like to acknowledge our incredible sponsors, all the wonderful volunteers, the generous landowners who permit us to use this space and the cake bakers who handed cakes over the fence from time to time! We thank you! And thanks to all the toots from people going by, too.
Gold Level Sponsors
Aurecon, CHEP, City Care, Higgs Construction, PIVNICE, Steel and Tube, Aotea Electric, Lighting Design (Kevin Cawley), Smith Cranes, Aesthetic Lighting Solutions
The Light Site, Enlightenz
Silver level Sponsors
South Hort, Beaver Landscaping, Evergreen Nursery, Riverside Nursery, Egmont Commercial, Placemakers Antigua, Metaform, Bremca, General Cable, Brenics
Total Lighting and Electrical, Dakins, Mainfreight, Southern Network Services
UC TAFS department, Buddle Findlay, F3 Design, ZNO, UC Geology Department Armourguard, McCarthy, Modus Architectural Lighting, Ideal Electrical, Christchurch Casino, Ramset, Hirepool, Dulux, Sign Network, AB Equipment, One Steel, Construction Contracting, Earthwork, Pacific Steel Group, Student Volunteer Army Foundation, Tradestaff, Schneider Electric, Marley, John Jones Steel
For more information or to book the space, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For media enquiries or more information about Gap Filler, contact email@example.com