Council explains story behind shelter
It’s a bus shelter with a hole - a special hole designed by an architect.
After four years of planning, and $300,000 pumped into the project, Blenheim’s new bus shelter has left some people scratching their exposed heads.
A picture of the giant opening in the roof was seen by more than 200,000 people on Facebook, right across the country.
Most of the commenters were impressed.
But the Marlborough District Council has leapt to the shelter’s defence.
The hole actually represents the Ma¯ori name for the Wairau Valley, Kei puta te Wairau, which means ‘‘the place with the hole in the sky’’ or ‘‘the place with the hole in the cloud’’.
The rest of the shelter, designed by architects in Christchurch, is meant to mimic the peaks and valleys of Blenheim’s Wither Hills. It also has a space protected by reinforced glass walls.
But a council spokeswoman said the council had no plans to put up any information signs to explain the design of the shelter. The hole also made for a good place to sit under on sunnier days, she said.
The Marlborough Friendship
900-plus less than Force first campaigned for a new shelter at the Blenheim Railway Station in 2013 after a group of Australian visitors they were hosting spent an hour waiting in the rain for a bus.
A Marlborough Express post on social media last week showing the shelter in the rain struck a chord up and down the country reaching 203,328 people, with 911 comments (707 on desktop) and 248 shares.
‘‘Some idiot in the local council being paid megabucks to come up with the design!!! I would love to see his house if this is the best he could come up with ... but wait, maybe a committee designed it!!!’’ Aucklander Peter Glass said.
Kathleen Gilchrist, of Blenheim, called the shelter ’’a waste of money’’. The design was not sympathetic to its surroundings, she said.
‘‘It does not blend with the railway station at all.’’
But others welcomed the unusual look. Blenheim’s Debbie Elsmore said it was a ‘‘nice place to sit and wait’’.
David Stubbs said the shelter was a ‘‘really cool structure’’.
A breakdown of how the council spent its $300,000 on the shelter has been requested.
The hole represents the Ma¯ori name for the Wairau Valley, and makes for a good place to sit on sunny days.