Gap Filler

Latest News

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 […]

Happy birthday to us!

Happy birthday to us!

Thursday, 12 November 2015 2:41 p.m. by GapFiller


Eyes on the City Part II

Eyes on the City Part II

Monday, 9 November 2015 5:29 p.m. by GapFiller

Eyes on the City is Back! Everyone’s favourite portable grandstand is hitting the streets of Christchurch again. Each Wednesday at 12:30 you’ll find the Grandstandium parked up at a different central city site, replete with commentary box, commentator, scoreboard and – new this season – an on-field roving reporter. We’ll bring you all the day’s […]

CHCH Soup Spring 2015

CHCH Soup Spring 2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015 11:06 a.m. by GapFiller

Served on 21st October: Hot Soup, Fresh Bread, Good People ~ and four fabulous ideas pitched for fun, creative and innovative projects for Christchurch. Yes folks, it’s CHCH SOUP, Spring 2015! Brought to you by the Ministry of Awesome and Gap Filler. Bring your bowl, blanket and best friend to The Commons for another night of […]

Commons Shelter Challenge!

Commons Shelter Challenge!

Monday, 12 October 2015 5:32 p.m. by GapFiller

What do you get when a food-truck operator, a juggler and an architect get together? A conversation about shelter at The Commons. The Commons Shelter Challenge explores ways to collectively and participatively design, build and/or engage with shelter at The Commons. Gap Filler aims to create public dialogue about different ways in which public space […]

The Retro Sports Facility and Grandstandium!

The Retro Sports Facility and Grandstandium!

Sunday, 11 October 2015 6:00 p.m. by GapFiller

October 2015 Now that it’s getting warmer the Retro Sports facility is back and open for action! We are looking for sports groups, fitness instructors, dance groups and community groups to bring their workshops and classes to the Central City @ The Commons Book your time on the green now by emailing Bookings can be […]

Christchurch Food Truck Market this Friday, 4.00-9.00pm

Christchurch Food Truck Market this Friday, 4.00-9.00pm

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 11:46 a.m. by GapFiller

Over twenty food truck vendors will converge on The Commons this Friday evening to offer an international range of dishes for you to try.  We will have live musical entertainment, our open mic session and fire performers to finish the evening.  Great opportunity for families and foodies to chill out and enjoy some kai.   Photo courtesy […]

Transitional City Walking Tour, 9 October, 12-1pm

Transitional City Walking Tour, 9 October, 12-1pm

Thursday, 24 September 2015 2:40 p.m. by GapFiller

Discover the Transitional City as part of the Breeze Walking Festival on 9 October from 12-1pm. We will explore a range of temporary projects, installations and other amenities created by Gap Filler and other organisations for our communities benefit. Booking required limited to 25. Phone 020 400 35811 or email

Dance-O-Mat undergoing hi-tech revamp!

Dance-O-Mat undergoing hi-tech revamp!

Monday, 21 September 2015 4:15 p.m. by GapFiller

The Dance-O-Mat is temporarily out of action while the floor undergoes strengthening and a new coat of paint. An access ramp is also under construction to make the site more user friendly.  Once the dance floor re-opens, the system will be Bluetooth capable. To give you the best shot at a connection make sure you power […]

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.