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Raymond G. Potter

Banco Popular - San Juan Project

by SMARTT Inc.

Banco Popular commissioned this project to promote public awareness of a Light Rail/ Tram project to run through Old San Juan, the capital of the island Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The project required about 40 custom structures that replicated in varying levels of detail, the key structures of the area. The highest fidelity was given to the Banco Popular corporate headquarters and the Capitol building, both of which I personally designed. Additionally, I designed another 15-20 structures of varying levels of detail including the shopping mall, the Sheridan resort complex, and the customs center as well as the street layout. I coordinated a team of model makers (including myself) in painting, assembling and detailing the miniature city. The rest of the structures were designed by the Boss, Mel I, and Nicholas P.

The Display was originally set up in Banco's Flagship office in Old San Juan ( of which there is a model on the display). It was so popular that when its allotted time was concluded, it was moved to another local location so that the public could continue to enjoy it.

  • The Capitol Building in Old San Juan

    This replica was built fairly close to accurate size in HO scale, relying solely on photos and the footprint from Google Earth. While some of the buildings had to be scaled back or selectively compressed, the Capitol got its full length in HO scale, over 4 feet long!

  • CAD breakdown of the Capitol Building

    Using the Google Earth as a site plan, I created the elevations for the faces we would see so that the parts could then be cut by laser cutter and assembled by our staff.

  • The San Juan Sheraton Plaza Hotel

    Again working from Google Earth and many photos, I designed the Sheraton Hotel replica, including the upper level pool and skybridges.

  • CAD breakdown for Sheraton Hotel

    The odd shape and asymmetrical features made the Sheraton elevations a more interesting challenge. I did a substantial amount of work on the painting and assembly of this model.

  • A broad view

    The entire 40 foot long diorama is full of intricate detail as well as operating tram cars and building lights.

  • The Banco Popular flagship structure

    The open plaza in front of the Banco Popular flagship structure (upper left) has a park and a nice view of the harbor.

  • Tourists can watch the harbor traffic go by from here.

    While diminutive, this is one of my favorite views of this project. Even the smaller structures like this gallery is delicately designed to complement the overall look.

  • Night has fallen

    Finally, the room lights cycle from day to night even 20 minutes or so to show off the night life.

Size: 40 feet long

Material: Laser cut acrylic, cast resin custom parts

Approach: Completely Custom!

Client: Banco Popular


Autodesk AutoCAD
Google Earth

People who helped with this project:
The SMARTT model making staff

© Copyright SMARTT Inc.

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