After the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, containers were brought out to serve as temporary housing for those who had lost their homes. The abundance of shipping containers meant that there was a ready supply of temporary accommodations. They were put to good use, providing both shelter and social structure for the newly-established community.

In a unique and ultimately beautiful response, containers were arranged in a series of concentric circles like the spokes of a huge wheel — a kind of “circling of the wagons”. The arrangement of these container homes and the circumstance that necessitated them inspired both a cultural hub and a business hub within the temporary village. A pop-up mall, restaurants and banks allowed residents of the container village to feel a sense of normalcy in a time of upheaval.

People impacted by the earthquake had somewhere to live and a communal gathering space — right at the centre of their new-found neighbourhood.