March 14, 2014 / Kevin
An Artist and His Craft - Part 2
The rubber molds for the decorative stonework have arrived in Hong Kong, and the façade contractor is moving full steam ahead.
Progress continues on the future Ralph Lauren flagship store in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Last week, I made a visit to Hong Kong with our collaborators from Ralph Lauren Store Design to meet the contractors and see the early stages of the site setting out. During our trip, we met extensively with the façade contractors to review preliminary shop drawings, and resolve initial layout conflicts.
The existing building curtain wall has yet to be demolished, as we wait for Building Department approvals and permits, so there is not a lot to see on site yet. But it is rather exciting nonetheless. The façade contractor has received the rubber molds from our local Brooklyn stone artisan, Gregory Muller, and is in the process of creating the plaster casts for translation to the stone.
All of the decorative carving will be led by British contractors Stonewest, who specialize in restoration, conservation and new building masonry. We had the pleasure of riding with CEO, Kevin Reuter, and one of the lead carving specialists during a long trip out to one of China’s premier stone yards, in Yunfu (Guangdong province). Yunfu is a town that revolves around the stone industry. Streets are lined for miles on either side with stone retailers presenting their various slabs, all lined up and ready to be sold.
We had the opportunity of going straight to the source (well, almost to the source) by visiting a giant factory, from which the stone for the project will be procured and cut. The owners of the facility showed us several different slabs of beautiful limestone with various finishes. Final approval is still pending as we wait for the results of the stone strength tests that must be submitted to the Building Department.
In the meantime, the contractor will continue to develop shop drawings and mock-ups, and eventually we will have the opportunity to see the entire façade laid out on the floor of the multiple-football-field sized warehouse at the stone yard. This will be the final checkpoint prior to the installation on site. How exciting it is to begin to see the design come to life!