An Enliven Places project aimed at activating the exciting new buildings being built in the central city.

Three empty shop fronts were transformed by artists in the city centre.

Until Works End

Until Works End (decommissioned)

Artist: Audrey Baldwin and Khye Hitchcock

Description: Audrey and Khye have created a series of whimsical dioramas, encouraging you to view the everyday with humour and a child's sense of wonder.

Location293 Durham Street North(external link) (Awly building)


The Pompoms

The Pompoms (decommissioned)

Artist: Shade Arcade

Description: Watch the pompoms dance! Artistic duo Shades Arcade have created this installation of choreographed movement and light.

Location: 293 Durham Street North(external link) (Awly building)


Light it up! colourful light sculpturesLight it up! (decommissioned)

Artist: Hagley College and The Physics Room

Description: Year 10 students from Hagley College created light sculptures that reflected Ōtautahi's heritage architecture and the bright future of our city.

Location: 213 Tuam Street(external link) (Vodafone building)


The city is shaping up, with stunning new spaces and buildings begging to be explored. Buildings are open for business and ready to house our growing retail and hospitality sectors. Although new and returning tenants are streaming in, there are still a few available shops awaiting tenants. Until then we’re eager to transform these unfilled window spaces and showcase the innovative and creative communities of our city.

The project, ShoPOP, is part of the Enliven Places Programme that delivers projects to enliven the central city and we want the people of Christchurch to help design and decide on these projects.

Here is your chance to re-imagine what a shop front might look like. Artists have interpreted your ideas and proposed a series of creative and innovative designs for these spaces and you are encouraged to vote for your favourite concept to make sure it becomes a reality. 

Why shop front activations?

crowd watches a child interact with a game within a shop.

Augmented reality display in a London shop window (source: TRO Group)

Vacant land in Christchurch has traditionally been the platform for people with great ideas to experiment and showcase new temporary concepts and pioneering ideas. Now a unique opportunity has emerged as these sites have evolved into buildings with available floor space.

There are great spaces available that are safe, dry and have easy access to electricity. This allows for a more sophisticated project to come to the central city while providing intrigue for visitors and support for other businesses and organisations in the area.

We want to hear your wild and wonderful ideas for what could be installed in these available store windows.  We’re looking for concepts that would cause someone to do a double take and spend a moment marvelling at the creation within.

ShoPOP process

Suggest your idea

Suggest your idea – 6 to 20 March (Complete)

Join the conversation on the Council’s Facebook about the possibilities. Who knows? Your great idea may be the one that gets delivered.

Request for Proposal

Request for Proposal – 20 March  to 16 April (Complete)

Your online discussion will be packaged into a Request for Proposal, seeking designs for innovative store window concepts. Anyone can enter their design concept; there will be an Open category and a Student category. If you are interested or know someone who might enter a design share the opportunity with them. Submissions are due Tuesday 16 April at 11:59pm.

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes – 18 April to 9 May (Complete)

All the proposals will be submitted to our review panel who will assess them to make sure they are achievable and appropriate. 


Vote – 9 to 24 May (Complete)

Following the panel review, the best designs will be launched for voting, in two categories:

  • Student category: the best 3 designs will be posted on the Council’s Facebook page for people to vote upon, with the highest voted design being delivered. Voting will take place between 9 - 16 May.
  • Open category: the best 5 designs will be posted on the Council’s Facebook page for people to vote upon, with the top 2 designs to be delivered. Voting will take place between 17 - 24 May.


Visit – Until October

Come into town, spend a few hours, bring some friends and marvel at the activations that you had a part in shaping. 

The Council will continue to support short term, artistic activations throughout the Central City and suburban centres.

If you have a great idea and are looking for a space to activate, or you are a building owner with a shop that could use an activation, contact Life in Vacant Spaces(external link).