Gap Filler

Latest News

Gap Filler’s FREE kids workshops during FESTA

Gap Filler’s FREE kids workshops during FESTA

Friday, 14 October 2016 12:00 p.m. by GapFiller

As part of FESTA 

One week til FESTA!!

One week til FESTA!!

Friday, 14 October 2016 11:42 a.m. by GapFiller

The Festival of Transitional Architecture is a vibrant weekend celebration of urban creativity and it’s happening in Christchurch this Labour Weekend (21-24 October)! The theme for this year’s festival is “We Have the Means, which focuses on citizen-initiated urban regeneration and sustainability through the reuse of waste materials in design. Enjoy spectacular large-scale architectural installations, […]

The Dock: Not quite a fairy tale… but a fairly good tale!

The Dock: Not quite a fairy tale… but a fairly good tale!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016 11:00 a.m. by GapFiller

You might remember one of our projects from last year, The Commons Shelter Challenge. About six months ago we made the tough decision to discontinue this project and not build the winning entry, The Dock. After taking some time to wrap things up and reflect a little, we decided we wanted to share the story […]

Gap Filler Update September 2016

Gap Filler Update September 2016

Monday, 5 September 2016 4:41 p.m. by GapFiller


Open City!!

Open City!!

Monday, 22 August 2016 4:15 p.m. by GapFiller

We’re working on a project, which is all about sharing sweet free things to do in our city and we need your help! Let us know what your sweet free thing to do is within the 4 Aves, where it is and when it’s available. Thank you!!! Please email your ideas to

Gap Filler Guided walks

Gap Filler Guided walks

Thursday, 18 August 2016 2:52 p.m. by GapFiller

Explore Gap Filler and other temporary projects around our city on a guided walk during the The Breeze Walking Festival 2016 around our central city.   Explore our Ever Evolving City 4 & 5 October 12-1pm Meet at The Commons (corner of Kilmore and Durham Streets) Bookings essential- walk limited to 25. Email or phone 020 400 35811 Explore […]

PARK(ing) Day 16 September 2016

PARK(ing) Day 16 September 2016

Thursday, 18 August 2016 2:37 p.m. by GapFiller

PARK(ing) Day is your chance to transform a parking space to an active public space for the day, an hour or two over lunchtime or even before or after work and be apart of an annual global event! PARK(ing) Day is an international open sourced event that falls on the thirdFriday of September every year,  where […]

What an amazing race!

What an amazing race!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016 2:40 p.m. by GapFiller

We celebrated some of the sweet free things to do in our city with an Amazing Race style event for kids and families in the school holidays.   If you missed out and/or would like to do your own Amazing Race here is the map and clues for you to download.  User beware exhibitions may […]

Wild Thing (Kids) Disco

Wild Thing (Kids) Disco

Tuesday, 2 August 2016 1:42 p.m. by GapFiller

During KidsFest we held a disco at the Dance-O-Mat.  It was an awesome evening and a great opportunity to dress up in onesies.  Gap Filler and other folk have previously run discos at the Dance-O-Mat but none specifically for kids.   Special thanks to our volunteers who helped out on the night and to Freiya […]

New Gap Caches around the city!

New Gap Caches around the city!

Monday, 11 July 2016 7:27 p.m. by GapFiller

Gap Cache is an urban treasure hunt! It will take you on a tour of some new projects, some relocated projects and some old favourites as well. How to play Bring some small pieces of treasure to swap. Print a copy of this map or download it onto your phone (or visit Gap Filler HQ […]

About Gap Filler

Gap Filler is 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. It is now administered by the Gap Filler Charitable Trust.

Gap Filler aims to temporarily activate vacant sites within Christchurch with creative projects for community benefit, to make for a more interesting, dynamic and vibrant city.

Gap Filler will see vacant sites – awaiting redevelopment as a result of the many earthquakes or otherwise – utilised for temporary, creative, people-centred purposes. We work with local community groups, artists, architects, landowners, librarians, designers, students, engineers, dancers – anyone with an idea and initiative! We lower the barriers, by handling the legal contracts and liability insurance, to help ideas become a reality.
Gap Filler is temporary in nature, seeking to activate vacant sites for relatively short periods, to demonstrate that the city can grow in important ways without large capital expenditure or major construction. Gap Filler projects can pop up as spaces become available around the city. All projects will be able to occupy or vacate a site quickly.

With smaller-scale temporary projects, the community gets to try out new ideas and create a dynamic for experimentation. Together, we can work out what works by actually doing it, not just talking about it. Some projects might disappoint, but an unsuccessful project on this level costs relatively little time and money, and can help avoid a much costlier failure in the city rebuild. So, in addition to enlivening and enriching the cultural life of the city, these projects are utterly practical.

We seek to involve members of the community and volunteers in our projects at any stage, from suggesting ideas to the design, preparation, installation and maintenance of sites. In this way we hope to help connect people with their city and provide opportunities to have a stake in the city right now.

Christchurch needs our help! There are wonderful ideas for the future city, but that’s a long way off and many people need reasons to stay now. Gap Filler gives everyday people a way to contribute to the city’s regeneration instead of passively waiting for the professionals to do the job. Site-specific projects can help us celebrate, mourn and criticise all that we’ve lost; can help us play, experiment and toy with ideas for the future; can make otherwise empty areas active; and can ultimately pave the way in the revitalisation of the city (without using pavement).

People, People, People – it’s all about people who make things happen!

The Gap Filler Trust Board is Dr Ryan Reynolds (chair), Lance Edmonds (treasurer), Andrew Just, Ciarán Fox, Lydia Baxendell and Martin Trusttum.

Gap Filler now has 2.5 paid staff, after starting as an entirely voluntary initiative. This is as a result of funding that has come from:
Christchurch City Council, Creative New Zealand, Canterbury Community Trust, Todd Foundation, Tindall Foundation, Te Whanau Trust, Community Arts Funding Scheme, Christchurch Creative Communities and various donations (including $10K plus from Urban Paving’s SILTY fundraiser). WE THANK YOU!

The Gap Filler team:
Coralie Winn – Gap Filler Co-Founder and Creative Director – full-time
Trent Hiles – Project Coordinator
Hannah Airey – Administration and general miscellaneous tasks!


Our Values:

Community Engagement

We believe in encouraging and promoting community spirit, growth and awareness by assisting people to experience and participate in artistic projects.  We believe that vacant land and buildings present opportunities; through developing and investing in gap sites, communities will recognise the value of social/cultural activities and communal endeavour in building social capital and resilience, stimulating economic development and creating connectedness. We feel that ‘community spirit’ is necessarily related to the idea of ‘the public good’: communities are strongest when working for public benefit, social capital and a flourishing environment. 


We value trying out new things and not repeating ourselves, taking calculated risks to lead by example with high productivity and turnover of projects. We want to draw on the opportunities presented by each site, neighbour, business, community and individual involved.


We believe in leadership, expressing our values through fearless implementation – bydoing. We want to celebrate playfulness, hope, critique and positivity.  We are living out our values in, and contributing to, a flourishing city.


We esteem the spirit of innovation, exploring new ways of engaging, creating and realising ideas, honouring and promoting the arts and artistic practice and process.


We understand and value resourcefulness as meaning both adaptability and a commitment to re-use, re-purpose and recycle wherever possible.


We believe in seeking out partners to implement ideas together, as well as co-operating to realise others’ ideas. We feel that collaboration unlocks creative potential.

Mission Statement

To establish a distinct and vibrant culture of innovation and creativity in activated urban space.