I include two photos below per Wikimedia commons
In a previous posting I suggested that if cards are played right the extra $21 million dollars to put the Christchurch Bus Exchange underground would seem relatively easy to recover given the marketable asset of a high concentration of foot traffic - tens of thousands a day - passing through this area. I suggested a hub tower building with parkland/grassed areas around it forming an added sounded barrier, with natural light wells to the bus station below poking up here and there, could be attractive for a wide variety of uses.
In fact digging back in archives I see [and had forgotten reading] that the Bus Exchange plans are already well advanced;
The Press of 7th July 2009 reported;
"The new $119 million Christchurch bus exchange will create an urban park, taking up a central city block, with a large glass dome at its heart".
The glass dome allows natural light down in to the six metre-deep underground passenger lounge. Judging from overseas comments this seems to be an important ingredient in any underground facility - Auckland's Britomart does it superbly. The constant running water across the main dome creates a very beautiful dappling effect of light, as if in the forest or a cave near water. It's a real winner.
As rabbits too often say, dig this! I am a full time bus user - ease of movement for me is everything. Generally I believe palaces are for politicians and big noters. And yet...dig this too ..... the dynamics of creating a building of this size and significance of the new Bus Exchange are that it should be done to maximum quality and effectiveness right from the start. The money needed for suburban exchanges - the most important ones I would imagine at Riccarton- Westfield, Eastgate and The Palms (with a pedestrian subway under the road to the in-stop) can be found and suburban exchanges built bit by bit across the years.
If there isn't enough gold around, then we will just have to dig that up too!