Hotel Indigo

Madison, WI Commercial Industrial
"The best part was the collaboration on a vision that I had. I knew all the details were taken care of and my building dream was coming true."
- Curt Brink

A Midwest developer acquires a 1915 old paint manufacturing facility and dreams of a development that connects modern day luxury with historic appeal.  Redeveloping the structure into a usable and safe hotel development took passion and careful planning, as it resides on one of the busiest streets in Madison, Wis.  The $19 million hotel includes five stories of hotel space, meeting and convention areas, as well as a trendy community restaurant. 

Unique to the project is that the original paint manufacturing facility needed to be converted, but also expanded. New needed to seamlessly merge with the old. This meant the expanded structure needed to have a low profile so that new floor elevations matched those that were existing, and that guests wouldn’t see or feel the difference. Floors also needed to be thin in order to minimize obstructions for mechanical, plumbing and electrical needs.

To convert a monumental, historic warehouse into a modern boutique hotel required alignment and agreement on costs and project schedule from the start.  A thorough and detailed BIM model was created of the expansion by the design team to value engineer a solution that would provide open, high floor plans, as well as minimize structural elements, all while ensuring sound proofing was maintained. This ensured cost, schedule and design were all aligned to the owner’s satisfaction. According to Curt Brink, owner and developer, “The 3D model was vital as it showed how everything went together – I was able to see shear walls, hollowcore and the entire building design both structurally and architecturally to understand design, schedule and costs for the entire project – it was exactly what our team needed to execute this project perfectly.”

The design started by creating a wide sweeping space on the first floor to serve as the lobby and restaurant space.  Bearing walls were used as horizontal beams to support the hollowcore plank used as ceiling and flooring components. This approach required minimal columns to create more open space. It was carried into the guest room area, where insulated precast wall panels were used as partitions between every two rooms.

Each common and residential area was designed for precast insulated panel placement to provide the necessary sound absorption properties. The concern of guest privacy and desire for a quiet environment was vital to the project success. 

While the interior had many functional requirements, it was also important that, along with the exterior, have extensive detailed aesthetics to best match the expansion to the existing warehouse facility. The exterior incorporated thin brick panels with a custom mix design to mimic an aged appearance.  Brick panels were also used for internal aesthetic appeal with the support of precast beams throughout the second floor. The contemporary brick design provides a distinctive and striking color tone to incorporate the heritage of this historic art building while displaying a visual appeal to occupants on both the exterior and interior.

The precast schedule included 293 pieces and was completed in 27 days.  Throughout the process of this project, the main goal was to assure the new would blend with the old – appreciating the past while accommodating the future. To achieve these results, Spancrete:

  • Provided thin brick veneer architectural panels to create a matched blend between existing and new.
  • Created expansive height with column-free spaces.
  • Designed and engineered solutions to create a harmonized structure of both building interior and exterior.
  •  Provided soundproof walls in each room.
  • Built the entire structure virtually first to ensure cost, schedule and design plans were agreed upon and able to be executed to everyone’s agreement.


  • 293 pieces of precast erected in 27 days
  • Seamlessly merged new building systems with old
  • Striking color tone to incorporate Mautz Paint Warehouse heritage


General Contractor: Stevens Construction Corp.

Architect: Potter Lawson Architects

Engineer: Fink Horejsh, LLC


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