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When Melbourne Cup race-goers pop their champagne corks in the exclusive Birdcage enclosure, they’ll be doing it in a novel building created by New Zealander Jeremy Fisher.

Fisher is the founder of Spacecube, an Australian company now expanding into New Zealand, which has devised a Lego-like building system for high-end temporary display and retail buildings.

Mumms, the big-name champagne producer, is working with Spacecube to create a temporary champagne parlour for the Birdcage.

Fisher devised the system of flat-pack modular aluminium-framed glass-panelled buildings based on the footprint of a shipping container, though with a higher stud, to make them easy to store and truck to sites.

He was aiming to exploit a niche he had spotted while working in the “inflatable architecture” industry, which provided inflatable display architecture for the likes of Formula One teams.

“I saw a fairly decent gap in the market,” says Fisher. “There was nothing between marquees and ‘permanent’ temporary buildings.”

For luxury goods purveyors like Mumms the chic has long worn off marquees, and the cost of building the quality of the “temporary” buildings they wanted for events like the Melbourne Cup was just too high.

Fisher says Spacecube launched two years ago to fill this gap in Australia, though it has this week begin a joint venture with Auckland-based Eventbase to start hiring out its cubes in New Zealand.

The cubes are designed to provide a clean canvas for companies to get creative with, which enables them to develop their own look. It is often important for them to be seen to be innovating.

Such companies need “bespoke” temporary buildings that stand out and allow them to showcase their brands.

The cubes can be “stacked” up to three high, and they are so strong terraces can be put on their roofs.

The champagne-maker is just the latest in a growing list of top-end luxury brands using Spacecube’s services. Others include Dyson, Dulux, HM Fashion, L’Oreal, Audi and Formula One.

Heineken is the next project, with the beer brand working with Spacecube on a cafe and rooftop terrace affair for the Australian Open using 12 of the cubes.

Fisher sees three growth markets for Spacecube.

There’s the events-style uses like Mumms, and Spacecubes can also be used as temporary showrooms for building developers.

Fisher also hopes Spacecubes will start to be used as an alternative to billboards in places such as city centres and airports.

There are also niche uses as well.

For example, National Australia Bank has created a bank branch made from two cubes which can be set up in disaster zones when existing infrastructure is rendered temporarily unusable.

In the United States, some people have bought, rather than hired, Spacecubes and have used them to create permanent events facilities and even a home.

– Sunday Star Times



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