Christchurch in New Zealand has suffered a number of devastating earthquakes in the past 2 years, which left almost 200 people dead and thousands without a home.
The city is in ruins and it will probably take years to rebuild as people wait for their insurance payouts and buildings continue to be demolished because they are unfit for renovation.
It is almost like a ghost town in parts, as areas remain cordoned off and many residents have moved to the outskirts of the city. However this is also an interesting and exciting time for some, who are using their creativity and their innovation to build on fresh ideas and breathe life back into derelict areas.
Artists and architects are using the abundant open spaces to realise projects they may have never been able to take beyond the studio.
One of these brilliant projects is the Summer Pallet Pavilion in central Christchurch organised by Gap Filler – a creative urban regeneration initiative started in response to the September 4, 2010 Canterbury earthquake, and revised and expanded in light of the more destructive February 22, 2011 quake.
Gap filler collaborated with emerging designers, established professionals, architects and numerous volunteers to create this impressive venue.
They have created a community space from wooden crates. The self contained space is covered in plants and comprises of a stage, several counters/table and a large amount of seating. All this was made from used crates, salvaged boards and donated materials.
On the website it is described as ” 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.”
It is incredible that even in a city that has been reduced to rubble, there is so much inspiration and innovation leading the drive to rebuild. Such support and involvement from the community is admirable and extremely moving.
It also shows how important creativity is in our society, without it we would be lost and without comfort or stimulation.