Marketing & Sales
Adaptive Pre-Use: Curb Appeal Disrupts Construction Disruption
Scaffolding and construction sheds emerge in a creative burst as part of developers' ever-more-clever approaches to omnichannel, seamless customer engagement and acquisition.
Imagine a construction jobsite as an urban pedestrian selfie destination.
Okay, maybe don't go that far. But how about reducing the sense of a blown-out wasteland that construction sites tend to take on, particularly in urban areas where workers set up sheds to protect passers-by from the harmful effects of the work at hand.
In a just-shy of surreal, only-in-New-York, you-can't-make-this-stuff-up pictorial profile, New York Times staffer Jane Margolies unveils the latest construction typology trend – adaptive pre-use – as a scale-able street art leavener of widespread construction disruption to neighborhoods nearly everywhere. In New York City alone, Margolies reports, 8,900 construction sheds cover as much as 330 miles of the City That Never Sleeps sidewalks and streetsides.
Recent attempts to camouflage construction sites have gone 3-D, and redesigns of the scaffolding itself have gained traction. And it is perhaps not surprising that a utilitarian structure should be reimagined as an “experiential” installation, created for selfies and social media posts.
“It’s meant to be Instagrammed,” Ms. Fay said of Citrovia.
The skeletal structures are ubiquitous in New York, where, in addition to being required for new construction, they are installed for facade inspections that must be performed every five years under a city program. The program is intended to avert tragedies like the one in 1979 when a piece of falling masonry killed a Barnard College student or the 2019 death of an architect after debris from an unsafe facade tumbled down.
Margolies takes a deepish dive into the backstory, tactics and strategies of an office tower project Brookfield Residential is building as part of its Manhattan West mixed-use project in New York City's West Side. At the same time, she notes that the trend of leveraging construction sheds for marketing messaging and awareness campaigns is a growing one.
The developer is hoping visitors will snap selfies in front of a six-foot lemon sliced in half overlooking Ninth Avenue. Children are welcome, too. QR codes sprinkled throughout the setting will provide access to a virtual world populated by cartoon characters named Easy, Peasy and, yes, Lemon Squeezy.
One way to engage potential buyers or renters and start them across omni-channel platforms into the funnel.