The $1.9-million SPiN Milwaukee, the third of actress Susan Sarandon's table tennis clubs, blends a clean, contemporary aesthetic with the timber structure and masonry shell of a 108-year-old former warehouse.
In addition to a kitchen, bar and a stadium court with bleachers, the 17,300-sq-ft space required entirely new plumbing, fire protection, HVAC and electrical systems. And the work needed to be completed with the speed of a high-toss serve, given the project's aggressive five-month schedule, according to one team member.
To meet a mid-August opening, the project's architect sprinted through early design phases, completing design development documents by the end of April, when the contractor joined the project.
Due to the tight time frame, the contractor sought early input from health officials to ensure that the design and locations of exhausts and other kitchen components met local health standards. Feedback was then incorporated into final drawings. During construction, the project team invited health officials to walk through the space to determine whether further alterations were warranted before the project was completed.
The accelerated time frame created cramped quarters for trades, resulting in morning meetings with the contractor to literally map out daily activities for each work area. Assuming multiple contractors occupied the same area, the foreman coordinated all activities with an eye toward maintaining a safe working environment.
The project presented some unusual challenges. Because SPiN required that table tennis tables be perfectly level, workers applied a high compressive-strength self-leveling floor topping to eliminate variances on the former warehouse floor.
As built, an Olympic-class sports floor extends throughout a playing area interspersed with dining and lounge seating. Acoustical control is achieved via perforated metal ceiling panels and large acoustically transparent panels concealing acoustic insulation. All HVAC ductwork, wiring and plumbing were left exposed.