Gap Filler

Latest News

DOCK70: The people’s shelter is coming to The Commons!

DOCK70: The people’s shelter is coming to The Commons!

Thursday, 21 January 2016 10:16 a.m. by GapFiller

Where we are to date: Gap Filler continues to work with the designers (Maria Chen, Frederic Gapinski, Paul Anselmi and Sebastian Gapinski), The Commons Council, Landscape Architect intern Linnea Jacobson, Te Putahi Centre for Architecture and City Making and our awesome sponsors Aurecon, Placemakers Antigua Street, and Aecom in moving the design through consent. Any […]

“Connect in the City” Arts Term Finale for Waimairi School

“Connect in the City” Arts Term Finale for Waimairi School

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 5:34 p.m. by GapFiller

Waimairi School explored how the arts connect us to our community; how it influences, uplifts and enriches our lives and how it facilitates interaction, discussion and exchanges between people. The whole school visited the central city in September 2015 to look at art in context; visiting art on the street, exhibitions, and performances. Gap Filler […]

Piano Shelter Project

Piano Shelter Project

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 2:09 p.m. by GapFiller

Since 2011 Gap Filler has been providing homes for pre-loved pianos in public spaces and vacant sites around Christchurch. Pianos have come and gone and have been up-cycled after they have had their day in the sun . . . of course the better the shelter the longer the life of the piano. . . […]



Monday, 21 December 2015 2:04 p.m. by GapFiller

freiSITE is a crowd-sourced collection of hidden treats and secret gems. It’s a celebration of the undervalued, sweet and free things to do in and around Christchurch city. It might be a great tree to climb in Hagley Park, a family of eels to spot in the Ōtākaro/Avon River or a fantastic fact about your favourite building. To view the contributions check the […]

Obstacle Course by Cashmere Primary School

Obstacle Course by Cashmere Primary School

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 5:22 p.m. by GapFiller

Early in 2015 Daniel Gorman, a teacher at Te Waka Unua Technology Centre, was looking for a project for a group of students from Cashmere Primary School. The students came into the city to explore some of the Gap Filler projects and other projects around the city. “It was really awesome going out and seeing […]

DVD: Art of Recovery, a film by Peter Young

DVD: Art of Recovery, a film by Peter Young

Thursday, 3 December 2015 9:43 a.m. by GapFiller

Buy before 10 December 2015 and get 20% off! Enter this code AORGAP

Looking backwards, thinking forwards

Looking backwards, thinking forwards

Tuesday, 1 December 2015 3:58 p.m. by GapFiller

This is the speech that Gap Filler Co-founder, Ryan Reynolds, gave at our 5th birthday party on 26 November 2015. 

Get your updated Gap Map!

Get your updated Gap Map!

Monday, 30 November 2015 10:18 a.m. by GapFiller

Designed to help you explore the temporary creative projects in the city. 

And the winner is …

And the winner is …

Friday, 27 November 2015 10:16 p.m. by GapFiller

We’re very excited to announce that the winning design in the Commons Shelter Challenge is The Dock70! Thank you to everyone who has participated in the project so far – the designers, the ‘expert’ panel, our sponsors and you – the voters! And now for the exciting part: consent, sourcing materials and then BUILDING! If […]

Vote now! 24 hours left to vote for your Commons Shelter!

Vote now! 24 hours left to vote for your Commons Shelter!

Monday, 23 November 2015 4:55 p.m. by GapFiller

That’s right! Voting closes tomorrow, Tuesday 24 November, at midnight! Don’t delay! The finalists (in no particular order) are: Commons Unity Hub Dock70 Electric Eel Garden City Pavilion The Meeting House   The Commons Shelter criteria is: Must be relocatable. Will provide adequate space and shelter for 10-30 people in the event of rain. Must be […]

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.