A 100-year-old abandoned paint manufacturing facility may not sound like an ideal building site for most companies. But for Wisconsin developer Curt Brink it was the dream location. He envisioned transforming the facility into a modern-day luxury hotel with historic appeal. And he used precast concrete to make it happen.
The $19 million redevelopment project includes five stories of hotel space, meeting and convention areas, and a trendy community restaurant. To meet the space goals, the original structure had to be expanded as well as converted, with new spaces integrated with older ones.
“The primary vision of this project was to seamlessly merge new construction with an existing historic structure,” says Clinton Krell, business development manager for Spancrete. “A new contemporary design was required to complement the timeless design of the original construction both inside and out.”
One of the biggest initial challenges that the precast producer faced was delivering a low-profile structure that would match existing floor elevations and inherent design features, and accommodate a tight construction site in the busy Wisconsin capital. The floors also needed to be thin enough to minimize obstructions for mechanical, plumbing, and electrical needs. “Ultimately Spancrete provided a building solution that delivered on the team’s vision,” Krell says.
A column-free first floor was created by using bearing walls as horizontal beams to support hollow-core. “The strength of precast concrete and flexibility of design allowed for efficient spans and unique structural solutions,” Krell says. It resulted in long, open spans for the lobby, restaurant, and meeting areas, giving visitors an inviting space that is easy to navigate. The precast concrete insulated wall panels were installed as partitions between hotel rooms to provide sound absorption that ensures guest privacy.
Spancrete worked closely with the owner, architect, and engineer throughout the design process to identify value engineering solutions that would conform to the tight site constraints and existing building restrictions. “Through the combination of smart structural detailing, a three-dimensional building information modeling model, and collaboration with the entire project team, the owner was confident his vision of Hotel Indigo would be realized,” Krell says.
Once pieces were cast, the team was able to minimize noise and traffic issues through a careful schedule of deliveries and sequencing of precast concrete pieces to ensure a rapid erection process. In just 27 days, all 293 pieces of precast concrete were installed on the compact construction site, creating a durable, beautiful hotel with minimal disruption to the community. “The precast concrete structure contributed to the historic beauty and uniqueness of the overall project,” Krell says. “Spancrete is proud to have helped in the success of Hotel Indigo.”