In a big new project, where do you start?
My dad bought this old building, and he’s turning it into an antique mall. It’s a huge project: two floors of shopping plus a gallery and museum at the top. Yesterday he showed me what he’s done so far.
In the basement, he added support beams and repaired the sprinkler system. They painted all the water pipes red, air blue, and electric gray. Paint is stored where it won’t freeze. The elevator machinery is oiled and accessible.
On the third floor, where art and artifacts will draw people through the store, he has crafted walls of sunrise, sunset, and nightfall from wood siding in dozens of different stains.
He started with infrastructure and with beauty. The underpinnings of the whole store, made observable with color coded pipes. And the unique features that will make this store different from any other.
In a big project, there’s not one place to start; usually we need to make little circles. Foundations, surface, various points in between.
Emphasize the parts that make the work smoother: a clean workspace, visibility into what’s happening, fire prevention. And the parts that make the work fulfilling: the beauty, so we remember why we’re doing this project at all.