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A Cultural Crossing through Construction

Photos by Bruce Forster

“Now, my 14-year-old daughter really wants to go to Japan.”
In a way, the first week of April was “mission accomplished” for Josh Faulkner, especially since the Garden believes in the power of cultural education, and learning about new places.

After 19 months of construction, Faulkner, the Cultural Crossing Project Superintendent with Hoffman Construction, said he realized what being a Cultural Crossing truly meant many times throughout this project. And, he was finally able to exhale, and fully appreciate the new space during the first week of April.

It took awhile to be able to take that big breath, because Faulkner said this project was one of the hardest he’s ever done.

“It was difficult for so many reasons, like the constant rain. But, the number one was access.” Construction crews were operating on the Garden’s side-road that had just one-way in and one-way out. And, on most days they were working while the Garden shuttle was operating. “Just trying to get guys in and out. You know, the Cultural Village is a quarter mile away from the parking lot and so that was the most difficult portion of it.”

But through the difficulties, Faulkner said there were several lessons learned, like the fact that this is an international project without going international. “This is no different than us travelling to Japan and building something on their soil, except we’re able to take something from Japan with a designer, Kengo Kuma, and bring it here to the United States. We travel a lot, my family and I. We try to get a lot of culture instilled in the kids and so it’s really cool to do something that’s culturally different; not just a box, not just a hospital; which – you know, you do need all those things but – those are normal and this was absolutely not.”