At first I didn’t take much notice, and I should have taken notice and didn’t and soon had my regrets for not being observant and… mindful. A new building was going up in my work neighborhood – I couldn’t help but notice the place is relatively gigantic and I walk in that area every single day at my lunch hour. For some reason, I just didn’t pay attention. I have heard of a movement or self-improvement thing or something called “mindfulness” and clearly, I was not being mindful. I should have known what was about to transpire after seeing this posted on the new fence that had been constructed around a previously rather large vacant lot right next to the Scottsdale Quarter shopping mall:
Something was being built, right before my eyes. Here’s about the time I noticed it:
Yeah, I seriously need to get into that mindfulness thing.
“Research on the neural perspective of how mindfulness meditation works suggests that it exerts its effects in components of attention regulation, body awareness and emotional regulation.When considering aspects such as sense of responsibility, authenticity, compassion, self-acceptance and character, studies have shown that mindfulness meditation contributes to a more coherent and healthy sense of self and identity. Neuroimaging techniques suggest that mindfulness practices such as mindfulness meditation are associated with “changes in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, temporo-parietal junction, fronto-limbic network and default mode network structures.” These neuroplastic findings can be useful to monitor changes in the brain that happen as a result of mindfulness meditation, and thereby play a role in the treatment of mental health disorders.
How could I have simply ignored the initial construction?
Well. I started noticing and taking photos just about every day. And one question burned in my mind: Would the finished building look anything at all like the architectural rendition?
You know, I had my doubts at the time; doubts justified by the setting of the new building. It really is right next to the Scottsdale Quarter which if not clear from my cellphotos is directly to the left of the new building. This photo shows the Scottsdale Quarter peeking out from behind the construction:
I found it somewhat surprising that the decorative and colorful metal sculpture / signage would go up so early in the construction.
A foamy cement-like stuff is sprayed onto the steel – it is fireproofing. If the building ever catches fire, it would be double bad if the steel were to melt or be weakened by the heat of the flames so an insulating compound is sprayed on.
At this point, like me, you may be saying to yourself as I did, “This project is really taking off; that is one big building.” Well, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Again, the mindfulness thing; I saw them start the parking garage but for some reason just ignored it.
A concrete large-scale parking garage is a major feat of construction and engineering all in itself. For weeks on end large flat-bed semi-trailer trucks parked on an adjacent side-street loaded with enormous pieces of preformed, prestressed concrete parking structure parts.
Prestressed concrete is a method for overcoming concrete‘s natural weakness in tension. It can be used to produce beams, floors or bridges with a longer span than is practical with ordinary reinforced concrete. Prestressing tendons (generally of high tensile steel cable or rods) are used to provide a clamping load which produces a compressive stress that balances the tensile stress that the concrete compression member would otherwise experience due to a bending load.
Pre-tensioned concrete is cast around steel tendons—cables or bars—while they are under tension. The concrete bonds to the tendons as it cures, and when the tension is released it is transferred to the concrete as compression by static friction. Tension subsequently imposed on the concrete is transferred directly to the tendons.
Pre-tensioning requires strong, stable anchoring points between which the tendons are to be stretched. Thus, most pre-tensioned concrete elements are prefabricated and transported to the construction site…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prestressed_concrete
These massive chunks of garage were then hoisted into place by the ultra-cool construction cranes and the parking garage was built up piece-by-piece like a gigantic Lego project.
Personally, I don’t think it looks exactly like the rendition – but it’s not quite finished yet so it’s too soon to tell. For sure I do not recall a parking structure as part of the rendition – but who would include the parking lot in the image that is the vision of the building to be?
It has been fascinating watching this thing go up. It started with the vision-like architectural rendition hanging on a homely temporary chain-link fence surrounding a patch of vacant Arizona land, followed by kicking up dirt and dust with noisy construction machinery, and some fairly rough-looking steel being constructed by some fairly rough-looking men.
Did you notice them in the photos? The men? They probably don’t stand out that much in the low res cellphotos but I watch them at work every day. Yes, all this has been done by a handful of men, men working very hard in a tough and dangerous environment and like magic a building has sprung up from the dirt and dust that actually sort of looks like the picture. Just amazing to me that some people somewhere dreamt up a building, set things in motion and after a lot of hard work – there it is.
Personally, I would like very much for us humans to be doing this on other planets as well. Of course Mars comes to mind but we should probably already have started constructing buildings on the moon. Like everyone else I know, I hate it when construction projects fall behind schedule; and as far as I’m concerned we are way, way behind on lunar construction projects. We should have cities up there by now. Sad that we don’t.
I have a lot of ideas how we could actually go about it, but to be honest those mundane details don’t interest me as much as the potential architectural styles the different planets will require. On one of the planets in our solar system, or maybe on one of Jupiter’s moons (Titan?) we are eventually going to need to build a replica of the great pyramid at Giza:
Or something like it, but I digress.
When they finish the building in Scottsdale, I hope I can go inside and check it out after I park my Chevy in the elegant and beautiful parking structure. I’ll tell you about it. I’m really looking forward to it.