I have said in previous posts that one of the most encouraging things about being in Christchurch is the inventive and creative ways they have come up with using the devastated empty spaces left over by the earthquake. The Re-Start Mall is still one of my favourites, but closest to me is the Pallet Pavilion. Sadly, this came to an end this weekend.
The Pallet Pavilion is exactly what it says on the tin: a community event space built out of pallets. Part of the GapFiller project, it was one of many temporary pieces of architecture created by volunteers to utilise a space that would otherwise have remained a dull and depressing piece of waste ground. It has also been a lot less temporary than first intended; so popular that it has been kept open until the cost has simply become too much.
Being halfway between my apartment and the library, I have probably walked past this structure more times than anywhere else in the city. From the moment I arrived it became part of my psychological landscape. I know that the next time I walk past it will be gone and that’s going to be a sad thing. But it also means that there is progress. The city around me is rebuilding even as I sit here, three months in, and it is ramping up to an even faster rate.
Created by a population that was coming together and building something out of nothing, I hope that spirit continues on as winter comes and the fourth anniversary of the biggest and original quake – a cracker with a magnitude of 7.1 – rolls around in September, with so much still left to do.