Calling all construction geeks
My small town is building a credit union headquarters in the middle of town. Temperamentally -- and I know this will come as a shock to you -- I'm a little skeptical of the project, for all kinds of reasons including a not-so-good siting process. Also, I know for a fact the prime contractor fired its architect and kept the engineers, with the result that the building is ugly, as you see. And ugliness is often a sign of worse things.
I'm hoping that there are enough construction geeks here to dope out the quality, or at least the character of the construction, from photographs -- yes, I know this is like asking a doctor to diagose from a photo, but what can I do? -- and before they sheathe or clad the building, or whatever they do these days. Pray god they don't stucco it. So I went out and photographed two sides of the building today, from the southwest corner to the northeast. Here they are, in the order I took them:
Comments are below each photo.
You can see the drive-through for the ATM machines here. And is that blank wall with no windows and big vent at the top ugly, or what? What's up with that?
Foundations at the southwest corner.
Moving along, the first corner, showing the layers and I hope the kinds of insulation, and other details of the construction.
There's going to be some kind of courtyard with sculpture. As I understand it, the entire area will be an impermeable surface, that is, no substantial garden at all. Fun in the winter!
More details of the foundation. As you can see (and perhaps I should have explained) the building is sited on a bluff sloping down toward the river. The first photo was on the top of the bluff, parallel to the river, and we're moving around the building, and are now turned onto the road the slopes down to the bridge across the river.
This shot shows the brand of window used.
We are now at the back of the building. That giant black shaft with the blue insulation on it is he subject of some speculation, as in why the heck doesn't it have any windows, so as to maximize the view of the river for the whole building?
Another view of the black shaft with blue insulation.
Looking back up the hill. I don't know why they notch the insulation like that. Assuming it is insulation, and not some kinda fake styrofoam construct.
We are now at the back of the building. Notice the cracks in the retaining wall, although, to be fair, it might not be mortared. Already. Above the wall, there is a parking lot. We are looking directly at a second parking lot, which will be entered from the street that slopes down to the river. Fun in winter.
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Well, that's it. If there are more pictures you want, or more detail, please let me know. It would be great if this building were a tremendous success and an asset to the town, but given a lot of givens, I think an attitude of skepticism is fully warranted. Prove me wrong!