Project Showcase: Saint Kate Hotel in Downtown Milwaukee

St. Kate Hotel Milwaukee

When a unique project comes along, the builders at Tri-North look forward to finding ways to create something special. For us, one of those projects was transforming a building in downtown Milwaukee into the very unique Saint Kate the Arts Hotel. A place where you can stay, but also immerse yourself in the local arts scene.

Let’s look at how Tri-North builders worked with the architects at Stonehill-Taylor on a project utilizing our innovation and creativity to build a new hotel experience.

Finding Innovative Solutions for Saint Kate

From the start, this project was special. There were some challenges, but the best part was using our experience as innovators to meet and exceed them. Most of the innovations were related to:

  • Sustainability. This project sought to be as sustainable as it could be by maximizing its community impact from construction and operations after completion. Tri-North prioritized using local artists and suppliers to minimize the carbon impact from shipping, support a community of makers and suppliers, and help others source art and materials locally.
  • Innovative construction methods. Saint Kate pushed the boundaries of what we typically expect of hotels. The plan was for this hotel to create a special feeling by merging art with comfort right from the very start. This meant that everything from the lobby to the rooms had to be planned out and constructed to showcase the artistic feel for Saint Kate.
  • Building methods. Spaces throughout the hotel had to be considered in terms of how well they would display art, as well as their function. Light, lighting, space and other considerations were on our mind—this wasn’t just another hotel project, but an art museum merged with hospitality.

True innovation is taking the chance to be different, and with this hotel everything was done so it could be unique, but still familiar and comfortable.

How to build a hotel dedicated to The Arts

One of the crucial tasks was to keep the entire project, and the hotel itself, sustainable while creating a unique, artistic experience from the minute guests arrive. This meant tackling rooms separately. For example:

Lobby construction. Saint Kate needed to showcase sculpture from the start. The plan was that from the moment a guest steps on to the property they’re greeted by unexpected site-specific installations, rotating special exhibits, and specially curated collections of contemporary art.

Gallery and exhibition hall construction. Throughout the Saint Kate hotel there are specific rooms geared toward exhibiting works of art. Each of them required expert building techniques to make sure they did what they were supposed to do. The galleries and rooms include:

  • The Saint Kate Seed Collection. An ever-growing, ever-changing display of contemporary art scattered throughout the hotel that’s free, open to the public, and as innovative as the hotel itself. The collection features local, national, international, and regional art and artists. The seed collection promotes thought by looking at deep questions through an artistic lens such as human identity, connecting with other people, and reaching back into the past. The famous horse sculpture known as Big Piney is a major feature of the collection.
  • MOWA | DTN Art Gallery. A brand-new gallery meant to showcase contemporary art from the Museum of Wisconsin Art, which has partnered with Saint Kate for this express purpose.
  • The Gallery. If you think of an art gallery being a building with concrete floors and white walls, then you get the idea of what The Gallery is. This traditional art space is meant to feature solo and group exhibitions from contemporary artists.
  • The Space. An exhibition area created in a non-traditional manner for all types of large and small installations. These are site-specific installations from local artists.
  • The Closet. Sometimes the art exhibit doesn’t need a large space and a smaller space immerses the viewer even more profoundly. For that immersive experience, the Closet was created.
  • The Arc Theater. Saint Kate did not overlook the performance artists, either. The Arc Theater is a black-box-style space, adaptable to performance art shows.
  • Special Canvas Rooms. Four rooms that brings the art into the guest space. A local artist or group of artists has designed each room, creating dazzling displays that line the walls, carpeting, beds, and amenities. From a room done entirely in leopard print to another featuring walls lined with album covers, the Canvas Rooms offer guests an inspiring experience.

Tri-North built a unique, artistic, experience

Working closely with our partners on the Saint Kate Hotel project, Tri-North Builders constructed an innovative, sustainable building. Combining the elements of an art museum with the amenities of a modern hotel was a unique experience where we used our expertise and innovation to create a unique hotel experience that would merge into the community seamlessly.

Tri-North Builders’ experience made this truly memorable project a perfect fit for us. If you have a project that requires a visionary building team, contact us for details today.

Leave a Reply