Sprung Construction – The Ramble Hotel
Sprung Construction’s latest project draws inspiration from historic buildings in Denver.
By Alan Dorich
When Sprung Construction takes on a project, it takes a unique collaborative approach to building it. “We like to get all parties involved together early on in the design process, and come up with solutions that work for design, construction and performance of the building,” Senior Project Manager Jordan Dame says. “We challenge the initial concept and attempt to come up with the best solutions possible.”
The company has brought this philosophy to The Ramble Hotel for Gravitas Development Group, which specializes in urban infill projects within Denver. “We have a great working relationship with Gravitas, and have built and maintain the majority of their projects,” he says, noting that the two firms office out of a mixed use project made from 29 stacked shipping containers directly across the street from the Hotel site. Gravitas Development owns the container project and Sprung Construction built it.
When finished, The Ramble Hotel will be a 50-room boutique hotel in Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood. “It’s a very exciting location in Denver right now,” Dame says, noting that the area is seeing a substantial amount of development.
The finished, 32,000-square-foot structure will stand three stories above grade with 18,000 square feet of below grade parking. The primarily brick building aims to be a new landmark for Colorado’s capital.
The building features steel replica operable aluminum windows, along with intricate masonry details, and custom steel column wraps and storefront which is a nod to the historic buildings of the lower downtown district of Denver, he says.
The Ramble Hotel will feature the first Death & Co bar outside of its New York institution.
Death & Co also will provide catering within the hotel’s intimate theater and private event space, available to the public to rent for corporate events, small celebrations, viewing parties and more.
Attached to the hotel building, but accessed independently from the hotel is a restaurant space. The first floor space will be occupied by a new restaurant called Super Mega Bien. “There is a lot of excitement for the future restaurant space as well, which will be a new concept from the owners/operators of Work & Class, an acclaimed restaurant located in the container project across from the Hotel,” Dame says.
Gravitas and Sprung Construction are incorporating unique materials into The Ramble Hotel, including hand-molded bricks from Maryland. “It’s a historic looking softer red brick,” Dame says, noting that their manufacturing process gives each brick slightly different shape.
The company also had to create several mock-ups for the steel façade that wraps the hotel’s first floor. “The first floor steel façade adds an interesting contrast to the brick on the floors above,” he says, noting that every steel detail was reviewed and approved through mock ups between the architect, owner, and steel fabricator.
Between the windows, steel and masonry,“We are trying to achieve a somewhat historic look using modern materials that perform according to today’s standards,” Dame says. “We’re very proud of how all of the different materials and details are starting to come together.”
Sprung Construction has faced several project specific challenges including a tight site with limited lay down space, and a general shortage of labor for critical scopes of work as it builds The Ramble Hotel. “With how much construction currently going on in Denver, finding enough quality manpower has been a real challenge across the board,” Dame admits.
As with most projects, staying on budget also has been a challenge. “We’re trying to get creative and use high quality materials without blowing the budget,” Dame admits. “With general scope creep, combined with material and labor cost escalations, we need to have clear constant communication with the subs, design team, and the owner.”
On site, safety of all personnel is extremely important to Sprung Construction. On site safety orientations and implementation of standard safety protocols are essential to a successful project, “We take the safety of all workers on site extremely seriously,” Dame says.
Sprung Construction employs a safety manager who visits the site regularly and works with its management team. “It’s the No. 1 thing we’ve got to look out for,” he says.
Based in Denver, Sprung Construction started operations in 1976 and has built many innovative and sustainable spaces within its home city. “We’re a leader in challenging, complicated infill projects,” Dame says.
Dame, who joined Sprung Construction two years ago, says it successfully takes on these complex jobs, despite its modest size. It also has a culture where its managers are hands-on. “Our owner, Tom Sprung, is still very engaged in all projects the company takes on,” he says.
The company also sees the value of teamwork, which it has not lost sight of as it has built The Ramble Hotel. “It’s [about] getting everyone to the table to work together,” he says, adding that Sprung Construction collaborated closely with primary architects Johnson Nathan Strohe out of Denver, and Avenue Interior Design out of Los Angeles.
The firm also works closely with its subcontractors, which include several that it has partnered with in the past. “We rely heavily on our relationships with our subcontractors, most of whom we have worked with on previous projects.,” he says. “They’re ultimately the guys that get it done..”
He sees a strong future for the company, which will grow carefully. “[We’re] making sure we can handle what we take on,” he says, adding that the current Denver market will keep the company busy for at least the next couple years.
“Denver is booming,” he says, but admits that it can be difficult to find the labor to meet the project needs. “The key for us is signing up subs that we trust and know can deliver.”