Re:START Mall – Christchurch, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura


After the devastating 2011 earthquake, historic Christchurch begins to recover, starting with the pop-up Re:START mall. 

Sorry, Re:START Mall is permanently closed.

The first part of the historic city center of Christchurch to reopen after the earthquake in February 2011 that condemned most of the downtown area, Re:START Mall is a two-block stretch of the old City Mall, a cluster of shops and restaurants rebuilt out of cargo ship containers.

Re:START was completely constructed in under six months, and opened October 29, 2011, at a time when most of the downtown area was still completely inaccessible due to the danger of falling masonry from heavily-damaged skyscrapers. Anchored by Christchurch’s only surviving department store, Ballantynes, the mall launched with 29 stores and a cafe all built out of shipping containers, making it one of the world’s only pop-up malls.

Update March 2018: The mall is now closed permanently

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