Following the 2011 earthquake the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan was developed to provide a framework for the rebuild of the Christchurch CBD. Concurrently the ‘An Accessible City’ strategy was produced by Christchurch City Council to create a travel network which makes it easy, safe and enjoyable to get to central city destinations.
This project is one of the ‘anchor projects’ identified in the Recovery Plan and underpins the aspirations of both strategy documents. Designed and delivered in only 18 months the new Bus Interchange provides a naturally ventilated and light filled transport hub combining civic architecture with an efficient transport delivery model to provide a first class passenger experience and contribute to the quality of the public realm of the new CBD.
Situated on an inner city block with three prominent road frontages, the L-shaped concourse provides a strong and engaging urban edge to both Lichfield Street and Colombo Street. Bus circulation has been confined to the interior of the site allowing the third street frontage to be developed for other uses in the future.
A strong contextual link is created by the materiality and façade articulation along Lichfield Street, which references the adjacent historic buildings which survived the earthquakes. On Colombo Street, Christchurch’s main street, a large folding roof shape provides scale and articulation to signal the building’s civic function. The large vaulted hall is interspersed with smaller pavilions that provide retail and other amenities for the commuter. With strong visual linkages to both the main street and busses on the interior of the site the hall provides a point of arrival and departure that looks to celebrate public space and make the use of the public transport system an enjoyable experience for all.