The Summer Pallet Pavilion (#22)
Corner Durham Streets and Kilmore Streets, City
The Pallet Pavilion’s Summer of events has come to an end and we say thank you and good-bye to Amy and Glen Jansen who have taken on the management of the space over the Summer. Through the month of May the cafe is open during the day but the bar is closed. Check out what happened this Summer on the Pallet Pavilion website.
We are currently responding to strong community feedback asking for the pavilion to stay and exploring the possibility of retaining the Pavilion for another Summer. It costs a lot to care for a community building for one more year and as a charitable trust it is not something we can afford. We have just launched a PledgeMe crowdfunding campaign to see if people want to retain it for one more year. It’s in your hands!
Click here for more info!
Gap Filler has completed its first temporary architecture BUILD project. Oh my! The Pallet Pavilion is a transitional architecture project that functions as a community space and venue for events. It was built by volunteer power over 6 weeks in late 2012.
(Image courtesy of Yun Kong Sung, Studio OKAN 2012)
Lots more photos below – scroll down.
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 opened in early December 2012 and will remain 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 is done by local father and daughter duo, Amy and Glen Jansen. 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 (coming in Feb 2013) 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 250 volunteers and 40 businesses partnered up and offered their time, energy, expertise and enthusiasm. Around 2600 volunteer hours went into this project!!! 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/ culverts over streams 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 (to check out their drawings and plans click here!). 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 Ros 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 volunteers, who collectively offered more than 2500 hours of labour! INCREDIBLE!!! 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.
Thank you to the landowners - Christchurch City Council and the lease holder Victoria Hotels (ChCh) Ltd and Eureka Funds Management. We couldn’t do it without you!
Thanks also must go to Joseph Veale, Dave Cusiel for the advice and support on running the space and AV. To Mike Fisher, Laura Taylor, Dave King, Johnny Moore and Jessica Halliday.
Thanks to Christchurch Casino for this video taken from their camera on the top of their building.
Here’s a snippet of the wonderful Delany Davidson playing on our opening night!
For more information or to book the space, please contact: email@example.comThere’s more info about the background to this project below if you scroll down.
We have amazing support from these companies without whom this project would be a ridiculous fantasy. We thank you!
(Image courtesy of Yun Kong Sung, Studio OKAN 2012)
OK, so WHY on earth would a tiny little organisation like Gap Filler do something that is clearly much too big for them? A mixture of optimism, naivity and bloody-mindedness is the answer.
A bit of background… Gap Filler has been interested in temporary architecture since the early days. There is a real lack of diversity in Christchurch at present when it comes to temporary architecture. We’ve got shipping containers, porta-coms, marquees and geo-domes, but that’s about it. We’d like to see some more creative temporary architectural responses. There’s the Transitional Cathedral coming soonish. And ArtBox is not far from being brought out en mass in the city as part of the BoxedQuarter project, which is good to see. After that, I’m sure we’ll see more ArtBoxes around the place.
So, we thought we’d put our money where our mouth is and DO something ourselves. Pallets were chosen because they are readily available and often overlooked or discarded/burnt. They’re modular and strong. And they’re are beautiful en masse. We’ve been inspired by other pallet architecture and design projects from around the world.
We called for Registrations of Interest for the design of the pavilion back in early July. We cobbled together a team of : an architect, 2 recent architectural grads, a landscape architecture graduate. To that we added two mentors (architect and landscape architect), structural engineers, a fire engineer and a lighting designer. We had weekly design meetings for months at F3 Design in Sydenham and worked as collaboratively as we could. It’s been great process and rather intense at times! Many things have been learned…
As part of the build, the world’s first endurance drilling championships were held with the 24 Hour Drillathon across November 2nd and 3rd, where volunteers drilled 2 holes in 2000 (ish) pallets from 12pm Friday 2 November until 12pm Saturday 3 November. A little rain interrupted things on Saturday morning, but other than that it was a grand success. And a very strange event!
Adventurers, rebuilders, visionaries, action heroes and all-round enthusiasts were needed who were able and prepared to wield a power drill with a 16mm bit and drill through pallets for a time. Teams of two worked together to locate a jig on an undrilled pallet (the jig ensured the hole was drilled straight); the holes were drilled and the pallet was removed and added to the growing stack; the next pallet collected and placed, jigged, drilled, removed and on it went, for all the pallets.
In return Gap Filler offered a once-in-a-lifetime experience, setting a possible world record, the chance to meet other interesting people, free food and the opportunity to work at 2.47am, drilling and stacking pallets. Mad? You bet!
Pallet Pavilion Brief, (July 2012)