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Post-Quake, New Zealand Uses Shipping ContainersTo Rebuild Retail

Post-Quake, New Zealand Uses Shipping ContainersTo Rebuild Retail

After its community was hit by a giant earthquake, Christchurch, New Zealand looked for more temporary yet still effective building practices.

Zachary Kraemer

Back in February 2011, Christchurch, New Zealand was struck with a massive 6.3 earthquake that crippled the landscape. In an attempt to keep the local economy afloat and bring new business into its area, as well as keep pre-existing ones during the midst of the crisis, a temporary mall was constructed to replace the leveled shopping center. Made completely out of shipping containers, the new Re:START pop-up mall offered a place for pre-quake businesses, big brands and new start-ups a place of refuge.

Fast-forwarding to over one year after the disaster, and the temporary pop-up mall is flourishing with 30+ retailers and counting. Out of those 30+ are various New Zealand originals including music shop The Cosmic Corner, beverage company Crafted Coffee and bespoke variety The General Store.

Architect Anton Tritt explains that the shipping containers were chosen for the project due to the fact they are strong, durable and could be dismantled and reused at another site. Per the original agreement with the sites landowners, the pop-up shopping complex is scheduled to be dismantled shortly after Easter of next year. However, many organizers believe the complex could remain intact due to its large following and ever-growing popularity.

Re:START Pop-Up Mall

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