What happens on site stays on site …

Just the other day, I went to a client presentation, and on the way back to the office, we dropped by the project site to check on the progress of construction.

It’s a huge project – a waterway several kilometres long, fringed by new parkland and sporting areas, residential precincts, cultural and community buildings, and eventually, a new city centre.  The creek and landscape are being constructed first.

This is one small branch of the waterway, leading to an existing reservoir which will be the main source of water.  Like many construction projects, the site is being built by a variety of methods.  The channel itself is made up of huge concrete sections, created through the processes of heavy engineering and machinery … alongside this worker, who was slowly mixing his little pile of concrete using a shovel (when he wasn’t stopping to gawk at us, that is…)


A lot of the machinery is quite endearing.


The clay-topped site is vast.  It’s hard to imagine that in a very short time, it will house a lake, ringed by plazas and park, cafes and day spas.

But for now, it is just housing dozens of workers.  Many of these workers are seasonal labourers – farmers who spend the agricultural off-season working on construction sites for a bit of extra cash.  Being away from home, they are usually accommodated on the site itself, living in make-shift shelters, and sometimes with bathrooms and a food tent.  It would be pretty hard living … labouring all day, sleeping through wintry nights with very little in the way of bedding, being away from family and friends.

Although, if you can keep yourself looking at stylish as this guy … in grey polo, trousers with hem upturned to reveal a bright red lining, casual slippers and even more casual cigarillo hanging from his lips … life isn’t totally bad.

We had just been to present our latest design option for the site’s main entry pavilion, which the client finally approved.  So, we were a little surprised to find that it was already under construction.  It was explained that this part of the site had been fast-tracked after comments from someone important that work on the site appeared to be progressing a little slowly.  Fortunately, this part of the old design matches the new one, and we saved the workers the effort (and perhaps embarrassment) of having to undo their hard work.


We had to do a review of some pavers, or rather, a review of the pavers that the contractors were planning to substitute for the ones we had actually specified.  It was a long-winded and highly excited discussion, which I though ended in anger, but was supposedly resolved with everybody happy.  I really must get my Chinese skills up to scratch.

Further along the creek, work is almost completed, and the finishing touches, such as mature trees transplanted into place, are being applied.  This part will be flooded to form a wetland park.

Already, frogs and birds are starting to make their homes across the site.  And, as they arrive, the workers too will migrate, to homes remembered and people missed.


2 Responses to What happens on site stays on site …

  1. Pingback: Figuring out the last year … « That Look Crayzy!

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