Spectator Hotel Construction Update

One of the most rewarding aspects of being an architect is seeing your work get built.  It starts with a client that has a dream of a project.  The architect takes that dream and turns it into a concept.  Often a few scribbles on trace paper.  Some times even a napkin.  And that concept evolves into the design of a building.  That design will get revised....and revised....and revised...............and revised.  Eventually a contractor will be brought on to perform a construction estimate.  And guess what...the project is over budget!  And to make matters worse...the Board of Architectural Review says you need to revise some critical details of the design.

So you go back to the drawing board...and revise...and revise...and revise.

And if you are very lucky, all the stars will align, the project will get back in budget, you will appease the design review board, and most important, your client will be pleased with the design.

And then your building will get built.

It can be very powerful.  I have always loved creating and making things.  And the 'cool' thing about 'buildings' is that they are big.

For the last 12 months, I have enjoyed watching the Spectator Hotel be built.  This one is super convenient because it is less than a 1/2 mile from my work.  I can literally walk to the site in 10 minutes.  So I visit this project much more than the typical project under construction.  At least once a week and sometimes more.

I have compiled some of the most current construction photos.  I thought it would be interesting to compare the renderings we created with the construction photos.


The Spectator Exterior

Rendering from the corner of State and Linguard.  We used a watercolor effect on this one.

That green stuff is gypsum sheathing. You can see that there is a mockup of one of the steel columns on the corner balcony.

The green stuff has now been covered up with grey stuff.  That grey stuff is a fluid applied air barrier.  It keeps water and air from getting to the sheathing.

What a tease!

I know right!  I guess I failed to mention that the building would be covered in scaffolding and a black tarp.  Whoops.  Next time I will ask the contractor to remove that junk for my photo shoot.

Rendering of the entrance.

Construction photo of the entrance.

Again with the green stuff!

Rendering from Market Street.

Just took this picture today.  Very rainy.  That pink stuff is rigid insulation.  In commercial construction in this part of the world, we put our insulation outboard of the sheathing.  Rather than in the stud cavity which you are probably more accustomed to.

This is my favorite view of the hotel.  I should have put myself up in that window.  That material down low is called cast stone.  It is a cementitious product that emulates lime stone. We are using a gray cast stone for the water table so that it is less likely to show dirt and wear.

We had a small piece of the canopy made so that we could test the details and craftsmanship.  That is superintendent David Barczak with CPI Construction holding the Spectator S. 

Let this be a notice to all of my colleagues.  Do something funny around the office and you will make the blog....Like it or not.  That is my buddy, Dan Scheaffer.  The Spectator letters are made out of cast brass.  The S can double as a superman sign or bling.


The Spectator Lobby

Lobby Rendering 1.  This is what you see when you walk in the front door.  The elevator is over on the left.

Lobby Construction Photo 1

I suppose I could have moved that ladder for the picture.  Ever wonder how they make circles out of metal studs?  That circle on the ground is the stud track that will go on the ceiling for the framing of that circular coffer.  It is faceted so that it can bend in a pretty tight radius.

Lobby Rendering 2.  Those guys just made a serious business deal.

The entire ground floor of the Spectator is concrete so that it can withstand 7' of flood water.

Lobby Construction Photo 2.

Lobby Rendering 3.

Lobby Construction Photo 3.

The Spectator Lounge

Lounge Rendering 1.

Lobby Construction Photo 1.

Lounge Construction Photo 1b.

I have to admit.  After seeing the framing of the ceiling, I felt a little bad for these guys. Could we have made it more complicated?  It is going to look dynamite in the end.  The raised coffered areas will be clad in antique mirrors.  And the framing will be wrapped in mahogany which will create the appearance of beams.

Lounge Rendering 2.

Anything look strange in this rendering?  How about all of the people facing the wrong way. And what about that dude stuck in the book shelf?  Whoops!  Hey..I'm human!

Lobby Construction Photo 2.

Lobby Construction Photo 2b.

Some of the Spectator interiors take some cues from the Art Deco era.  Lots of articulated shapes such as this ceiling.

The Spectator Hotel Rooms

Hotel Room Rendering 1.

Hotel Room Construction Photo 1.

Hotel Room Construction Photo 1b.

Hey!  Where is that church steeple that was prominently featured in the rendering!   

There it is!  

That is Saint Philip's Episcopal Church.  It is the biggest church on Church Street.  Ever wonder why Charleston is the Holy City?  Because our sky line is dominated by church steeples.

The Spectator Bathroom

Yes.  We did a rendering of the bathroom.

Dare I say we absolutely nailed the makeup mirror in the rendering.  Looks like we got the tile size wrong though.  You can see the junction boxes for the heated towel rack, the wall sconce and the outlet below the mirror.  Making sure that we got all of the electrical roughed in to the correct locations as well as blocking for all of the trinkets was a beast.  

And that's all for now.

The contractors are starting to hit the finishes hard now.  So the interior is about to change dramatically.  It is very exciting.  A special thanks to CPI Construction.  They are making this thing happen.

Thanks for Spectating!

Fore more on the Spectator, check out one of my first blog posts: The Spectator

And check out my big screen debut in the Spectator Video

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