Gaps #5 and #6 were the results of a Gap Filler / CPIT collaboration, which ran from Monday 23 May until Thursday 2 June 2011. Two projects led by CPIT students created interactive spaces on empty sites in the central city.

Architecture students at Christchurch Polytechnic were given just five days to generate and implement designs to fill two specific vacant sites in the CBD that had been left vacant following February’s earthquake. Two winning designs came to light following an intense design programme.

The first site was located on the former Jetset Lounge property at 270 St Asaph Street. It took the form of a 50s themed bowling alley, inspired by the site’s previous use as a student recreation venue. The architectural design students created a temporary, interactive ten-pin bowling installation, where anyone could bowl for free. A ’50s theme was embraced throughout the running of the event.

The second site, ‘The Triangle,’ was located at 19 Ferry Road. The team created an interactive installation on the site titled ‘Words of Hope’. ‘They first created a symbolic human-scale Christchurch City out of recycled and found objects. The found objects were left painted white, providing visitors to the site an opportunity to have their say by sharing ideas, words of hope, encouragement and messages of support (or anything else) through tagging and writing on the symbolic city.

A member from ‘The Triangle’ design group, Jared Sim, says “We wanted to link the idea of the garden city with future building developments by making green areas such as Hagley Park more prominent within the city. This is done by using the grassy areas on the site as well as utilising the filing cabinets within the cityscape by placing pot plants and shrubs within open drawers.”

There was a week-long flurry of activity on both sites, with teams varying from 30 to 40 students working hard to turn their ideas into something tangible. Both sites were open to the public at 5pm on the Friday, complete with live bands and free food, to kick start the function.

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