About Space showcases people making and presenting original items, in temporary locations at the heart of our city. It's a chance for new businesses to try their hand in a central retail space, or in our neighbourhood communities such as Naenae.
Spaces are cleaned, windows washed and the lights turned on. Projects create vibrancy and activity on a temporary basis, and help brighten our central city.
The projects we support have a local focus and must bring new and unique ideas to our CBD and neighbourhood. About Space's pop-up shops and community displays give our local artists, community groups and business owners a chance to shine.
Our work in the CBD
In the four years since About Space started we've worked to reduce the number of vacant spaces in the CBD:
- 68 projects across 38 properties
- of the 38 properties, 16 are now commercially tenanted
- many of those tenants are new businesses that brought over 60 jobs into the CBD.
More than 22,000 people visited an About Space Project in the CBD.
The programme's success is largely due to the generous property owners that allow the use of the vacant spaces. The only benefit to the owners is staging the space for an eventual commercial tenant.
About Space partnered with The Common Ground Public Art Festival in 2017 for a large multi-space activation at Centre City Plaza. The festival used seven vacant spaces and the public space to feature a variety of community art projects, talks and interactive workshops. More than 600 people visited the Centre City Plaza during the eight day festival.
Our work in the Naenae community
With the success of the About Space programme in the CBD we have set up an About Space programme in Naenae.
There are generous property owners in Naenae that allow their vacant spaces to be used, where the only benefit is staging the space for an eventual commercial tenant.
With housing developments happening in the community, we believe it's time to revitalise the first pedestrian shopping centre in New Zealand into a vibrant shopping centre again.
Apply to run a project in the Naenae community and check back for updates on the exciting things happening in programme.
Our latest projects
Modernist buildings in the Hutt
Milk bar cowboys, ice cream and the modern office: step back in time and experience the 1950's in the Hutt. In 2017 About Space and Council Archives hosted a popup exhibition featuring images of the iconic Modernist Movement buildings in Lower Hutt from the 1950’s.
For the first decade after the war, Lower Hutt was leading Modern Movement architecture in New Zealand. Housing and commercial developments in Lower Hutt enabled New Zealand’s leading architects to explore town planning and functional design - key elements of this architecture style.
Highlights included a milk bar vignette with Carrello del Gelato ice cream, Lower Hutt Rock ‘N Roll Society performances, memorabilia from the infamous Elbe’s Milk Bar and a speaker series on architecture and social history.
We're looking for vacant spaces
We'd like to thank the owners of 120 High Street and 4 Laings Road for their generous involvement with the About Space project.
We've recently wrapped up some projects in the CBD and we're now on the lookout for new space in the city centre to revitalise and turn into vibrant business and community spaces!
Get in touch with us if you have a vacant space that you'd like to enliven. About Space is ideal for attracting new tenants into your retail space with a pop-up event.
Find out how to offer us a pop-up retail space, how to apply for a business trial or how to suggest a community project. Plus, find out how you can keep up to date with what we're doing in the CBD and Naenae.
Check our Facebook page for more updates.