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Architect, Developer, Father in law

May 16, 2013

Subject: Bob Sieger, Madison architect + HotelRED, Wisconsin

Story such as this would be interesting from any walk of life but it interests me more because it is from an architect’s life. And it is about a building.


This is a hotel sporting contemporary interiors, and the facade treatment makes for an eye catching building. What interested me first was the appearance, and then some research revealed a life story as well.

As hotels go, this building looks different in grey RCC and reds of all kinds. Tripadvisor is full of reviews saying people loved the contemporary feel and the use of red. Even when there are folks calling it cold, there are enough guests raving about the grey and red and its sleekness.

Hotel Red_0



Architects normally try to realise their aesthetic dreams through their own dwelling (I mean normal architects*). Many architects get to experiment on other people’s dwellings. If big enough, they get to fly fancy on museums and office buildings even. But not so much with hospitals and gas stations and conservative building types such as government/ service buildings and hotels. So such an aesthetic for a function oriented commercial building seems to be an odd choice and an achievement simultaneously.


This is one way for destiny to grant an architect his dreams. On the hotel website and elsewhere, there is some description about the architect wanting to design the building in a certain manner, and his preference for a specific colour and such. But how do you convince a client to build your vision? There are two answers: 1. Do it yourself and 2. In case of trouble, you might get lucky like Bob, so keep that faith.

Here’s a piece of news:  Hotel next to Camp Randall open for business (Originally appeared in Wisconsin State Journal @

Nearly two years after construction shut down, a new hotel across from Camp Randall Stadium opened its doors Tuesday and welcomed its first guests. HotelRED, at 1501 Monroe St., is finishing up some details but launched a soft opening this week with a grand opening planned for later in the month. “We’ve gone from development to finally being open,” said Michael Erikson, president of Red Hospitality, which owns the hotel. “We’re excited. We have guests.” Construction on the four-story, 48-room hotel began in 2008 in a project headed up by Madison architect and developer Bob Sieger. It stopped in October 2009 because of financial problems. Red Hospitality acquired it in March and completed construction. Erikson is Sieger’s son-in-law. Some rooms still need some details such as mirrors or phones, Erikson said, and the restaurant and bar are not open yet. With its unique red-and-concrete design and prominent location, the hotel has been a curiosity for neighbors and passersby for some time. Because of that, Erikson said the staff has been giving people tours. “We’ve started having staff by the front door so if people pop their heads in, we can show them around,” he said. The hotel will be managed by Fort Atkinson-based Inn Development and Management, which specializes in boutique hotels in Wisconsin and Iowa.

If you already figured out the point by putting together the title and this paragraph, 100 marks to you.

* + those in Hollywood movies of course.

The address from where I have borrowed these images ( Thanks for putting them up, Zane Williams.

Link to a pdf explaining the Architecture of HotelRED @

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