13 Aug 2018

The list of reasons why you should visit Christchurch’s city centre just got longer.

Three empty shop fronts in the city centre have been transformed by artists as part of an Enliven Places initiative.

  • 293 Durham Street - Stroll past and you will now find a shop front filled with giant dancing pompoms that swirl and shimmy in a choreographed sequence of movement and light. The dancing pompoms are the creation of artistic duo Shades Arcade.
  • 293 Durham Street­- Just two shops further down, artists Audrey Baldwin, Khye Hitchcock and Ater D have created a series of whimsical dioramas that encourage you to view the everyday with humour and a child’s sense of wonder.
  • 213 Tuam Street - At the Vodafone building in the Innovation Precinct, stop and take a peek at how Year 10 students from Hagley College and The Physics Room have created light sculptures that reflect Ōtautahi’s heritage architecture and the bright future of our city.


These fun attractions are part of ShoPOP, an Enliven Places project aiming to find creative uses for empty shop windows.  Following a call for ideas and concepts, over 2,500 public votes were cast towards selecting these three winning designs.

“The central city is such a vital part of Christchurch and we are enthusiastic about finding innovative ways to showcase the city, the exciting new spaces and the talent we have here.  These three temporary design installations are another example of the creative approach we have been taking,’’ says Christchurch City Council Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Carolyn Ingles.

“Eventually these spaces we are enlivening will be occupied by permanent tenants, but in the meantime we can use them to create some temporary new attractions in the central city that showcase people’s creativity and ability to think outside the box,’’ Ms Ingles says.

Vodafone Head of South Island Reon Goodwillie says the company got involved with the initiative because they saw it as a great opportunity to support Christchurch’s creative talent.

“It has been a really positive experience working with the team at Hagley and we are proud to showcase their work as part of our building. The installation has transformed our space – it attracts curiosity and delight,’’ Mr Goodwillie says.

“We hope to encourage other businesses to get on board.’’

Central City Business Association Manager Paul Lonsdale says the new temporary design installations are a welcome addition to the city centre.

“They’re another playful point of difference and will hopefully encourage more people to come in and see what is going on in the city centre.

“With these new installations in place, new bars, restaurants and shops opening, and the one-hour free parking offer at Council parking buildings, it is a good time to come in and explore,’’ Mr Lonsdale says.