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New Zealand's First Shipping Container Mall

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A devastating earthquake of February 2011 caused extensive damage to the City of Christchurch. The already weakened infrastructure of the city collapsed across some parts. The administrators were looking for new and innovative ways to re-start the city’s retail industry, and for uplifting the morale of affected business owners. A part of the Re:START project, was meant to restore normalcy to the city ravaged by damage caused by the earthquake. 

It took months to put together the design, planning and development of the shipping container mall. The project “Re: START” was officially launched eight months after the earthquake struck in February 2011. This was the first step taken to remobilise the retail sector. It was designed not only to help the trading business owners but also to redraw people into the city. People flocked to the opening in thousands. Bob Parker, the mayor of Christchurch, enthusiastically told those who assembled for the official opening of the precinct, that it was a ‘genesis’ moment. “This marks the beginning of our city making the most extraordinary come back,” he said.

It may surprise you to know that “Re: START”, is constructed out of shipping containers. Its colourful and trendy design is spectacular, segregating it from the scene of damage and reconstruction activity.  The containers are painted with bright colours, and designed with sufficient open space, a large pedestrian area and two horse-shoe shaped pavilions. Areas of the pedestrian mall are decorated with artwork and modern furniture. This brings distinctive character to the space. The well planned design with a new majestic look has made it a ‘happening’ place of the city throbbing with round the clock activity today.  

The containers (stores) are designed in such a way that they can be used temporarily, and shifted to another site for re-use, when substituted with more permanent structures.  Re: Start boasts of 30 stores, available to the public, from exclusive fashion stores, banks, cafes, and miscellaneous eateries.  New Zealand’s quintessential retailers, such as, Ballentynes and Scorpio bookstore are currently part of the Re: START.  Ballentynes has been retailing in Christchurch since 1854.  “Ballentynes” re-opened for the first time since the devastating earthquake occurred.  

The Museum of Canterbury has established Quake City, a distinctive exhibition space in “Re: START” with intention of enlightening New Zealanders, as well as international visitors, about the Canterbury earthquakes.  You are sure to discover the unimaginable resilience of the communities, of Christchurch, in aftermath of the earthquake and the remarkable way, in which they dealt with the devastation.  Their fortitude and inspirational stories, the photographs depicting the response of emergency service teams after the earthquake struck, being highlights. Visitors are also able to observe an active liquefaction volcano, and find out more about the science behind earthquakes, as well as see how a seismograph is used to measure earthquakes.

Should you be interested in purchasing or hiring a shipping container, please feel free to contact one of our friendly team of experts who will gladly assist you. Alternatively why not fill out our online “get a quick quote” form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


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