Clients that will be putting a lot of capital towards a project, want to make sure their money is well spent. They are particularly concerned about getting everything they need and want. This is especially true when an Owner is building a large scale project that has many interest groups – or different users or departments to coordinate with and satisfy. In these situations it often makes sense to create large scale mock-ups to test the potentials for the project. I am not talking about furniture here, but whole rooms or partial buildings that are filled with furniture and completed in a way to give the users to really test how their building and space will function and look like.
You might scoff and say, “that seems expensive!” Though some manufacturers have furniture just for this cause to test on a free trial basis, these mock-ups cost money for sure. However, depending on the scope of the project the money spent in this smaller dose will surely save money over the life of a project. This happens because it gets all the users in the same space for evaluation and feedback, and makes sure that thousands, millions, etc. of dollars are not spent on something the Owner in the end didn’t understand about the space – and hates!
An example of this would be a hotel room mock-up (we have done a number of these). When you are creating hundreds of the same type of space…like a hotel room, one mistake or item that is not understood well, would be multiplied many times over = money wasted, client unsatisfied.
I am working with an Owner on a project that has hundreds of private offices down to open desking (industry team is “hoteling”). Because of the vast number of offices and the many different users in these buildings, it was decided to create mock ups of the most vital office systems. To achieve this, our team has been working with mainly two different office furniture (systems furniture) manufacturers and various loose furniture vendors.
Today we spent the whole day meeting with the different user groups introducing them to their future working homes. Over the next couple weeks each user group will get their turn to work in the spaces and “test ride” the desks and furniture and give their feedback on which items they liked and why they liked them.
Below are some images of mock-up. A couple notes:
- They were built in one of the Owner’s buildings that isn’t highly used.
- Each type of office space was built by two different manufacturers to compare what they each have to offer.
- Because of time and budget, not all the finishes and materials are exact to what they would get, but they are close. That said, some of the images show the carpet for the buildings. They are loose laid on the floor to help visualize the space.
I was talking with someone the other day about mock ups and it was actually a big relief for me to hear that they are used like this. When a client is making such a large investment on multiple, duplicate spaces, it makes a great deal of sense to test drive the space with all of its components and materials to make sure it will function as intended.