I may have mentioned before — several times in fact — that there’s a lot of construction going on around here. Running the danger of boring everyone rigid on what has become a bit of an obsession…I thought I’d do a post specifically on the subject. Its really compelling to me that I am in a city that is literally growing up around me faster than I can keep track. There are probably as many as two dozen buildings in various stages of construction just in my immediate vicinity. And I really do mean in various stages…from the very first ground breaking, through to the final stages of fitout and everything in between. On my walk to the store this morning, I took the following photos, just by pivoting on my heel from one spot:
First groundbreaking. Two weeks ago this was just open space that we cut through on the way to the store. Now it looks like the first hole for a new building is being dug.
Here are some more taller examples. Note the sheer number of cranes and the blue/green netting everywhere that protects people below from falling materials. Sometime the city just looks half unwrapped to me:
I could go on, but you’ve probably seen enough!
This used to be the US air force base for many years, since before the second world war. It was called Fort McKinley and has been renamed Fort Bonifacio…or the Fort… and from this the marketing wiz guys have created “Bonifacio Global City” or BGC. In the last five years or so, they have taken flat open land with a few remanents of old miltary buildings into a giant plan for a new “global city”. As its the first really planned city of its kind here, its a big deal, as other areas of the city have just sprawled organically with ensuing disastrous consequences. The planners here are promising better. If you can stand to listen to the saccharin language of this promo video (you will gag) it actually gives an overview of whats going. Grab a barf bag and watch this:
The most significant building of this whole production to me is the one that is going up directly across the street. Looks like its going to be a very tall combination of residential space, office space and retail units. When we arrived in late December it was two stories high and I couldn’t figure out why the windows were all slanted. Two months and 5 stories later, its obvious that the first six floors are just going to be parking and that the “sloping windows” are doing so because of the garage ramps they are building.
Here’s a couple of comparison pics:
This was back in December.
Here is now (late Feb):
The significance to me is two fold:
1. Once this thing hits about 15 floors 50% of my kitchen view is going to be obliterated. Fortunately there are other windows and other directions, and the view of the golf course is guaranteed to remain. So its with fascination and regret that I watch it grow
2. Its the closest building to me. I can see it from my desk as I work all day and I watch the guys crawling all over it like ants….doing what they do from 6am when I wake until at least 9pm at night…on and on… From my soundproof window it just looks ants on a picnic table, but if I crack the window just an inch the noise is overwhelming. The hours and the work are brutal.
I have the luxury of being able to take an academic interest in all of this, while they labor on in brutal heat for little money. But these are also valuable jobs and will hopefully create an infrastructure that will bring more wealth and jobs in the long run. Some of the buildings are proudly declaring themselves LEED compliant, which is a good thing, but the city still has a long way to go to save its own environment. In the meantime, the building goes on…