In the past month, passers by have noticed a couple of strange structures under construction near the west gate (by STAR market). Those structures are called mock-ups, a “dress rehearsal” of sorts for the exterior materials. The structures are specifically designed to be stand-alone walls, oriented the same way as the eventual primary building facades, and including all the materials that will be present. Designing and building these full-scale mock ups, months before the materials for the actual buildings arrive on site, is quite a coordination effort by CBT (the Architect) and JMA (the general contractor). Evaluating the materials is equally tricky, since you see lots of materials, colors and details close together that will be spread throughout the project.
The effort is worth it for a chance to see how the actual materials come together, at full-scale and in the same light as the future buildings. Color selections are confirmed. Small joint details and sealant colors are tweaked. Simply by building it, JMA can reinforce standards of quality and installation with the subcontractors. Also, the BRA Urban Design team can visit and verify that the elevation materials are consistent with what the City approved through the public Zoning and Large Project Review process.
With this important exercise completed, the entire team looks forward to erecting the actual elevations over the next 16 months.