Pallet Pavilion ready for summer events

WILL HARVIE
Last updated 05:00 24/06/2013
Christchurch site
CARYS MONTEATH/Fairfax NZ
WATCH THIS SPACE: Trent Hiles, left, and Coralie Winn, front, of Gap Filler, and Jane Gregg of Life in Vacant Spaces, back, at the Pallet Pavilion on the old Crowne Plaza Hotel site.

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Organisers are gearing up for a full summer of events at Christchurch's former Crowne Plaza Hotel site.

The Pallet Pavilion, at the corner of Durham and Kilmore streets, was to be dismantled but the public contributed more than $82,000 to keep the open-air facility going for another year.


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The Arcades Project - a series of eight wood arches that march diagonally across the landscape and make a procession between Victoria Park and Victoria St - is almost complete.

Two small wooden shacks, erected from timber salvaged from the demolitions, are nearing completion and will join a recycled hut already on site.

The existing crib houses Gap Filler, the community activist group that is behind the pavilion and numerous other post-quake "activations" on vacant land around Christchurch.

The next shed opening will be offices for Life in Vacant Spaces (LiVS), a trust created last year to broker deals between landowners and groups like Gap Filler and Greening the Rubble.

LiVS will move in once solar power is harnessed.

The third hut, still under construction, will become the headquarters of the Volunteer Army Foundation, a trust supporting the Student Volunteer Army and similar initiatives.

LiVS director Jane Gregg calls them "sibling groups" and at least one other is to come later this month.

Social enterprise MakerCrate will land a container on the shingle and stock it with three-dimensional printers, computer-driven routers, laser cutters and other hi-tech tools. Education courses will start almost immediately and one goal is to replicate more MakerCrates for use across the province.

The Crowne Plaza site is owned by the city council. The hotel leased the land and that lease has been terminated.

Gap Filler and the others are licensed to stay until 2015, although there is a 60-day termination clause.

Stalls and markets will operate under the arches of the Arcades.

Come October, the full schedule of events will get under way. Gap Filler spokesman Trent Hiles said there was room for more tenants or projects and organisers had no pre-conditions.

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"There is no master plan for the Crowne Plaza site," he said.

- The Press

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