The project involved the restoration of the University of Rochester's most significant historic interior space. Long used as a dimly lit exhibition hall for the rare books library, the space was transformed and revitalized for flexible use while restoring and maintaining its historic significance.
One of the primary features of the design are new custom designed display cases that are the visual and ceremonial focal point of the space. An arrangement of lounge furniture anchors the room while helping to organize the space into two flanking areas for reading tables. Furnishings can be rearranged, allowing theater-style seating for speaking events.
A former skylight was recreated, incorporating both light and air delivery requirements. Custom light fixtures were designed, including monumental pendants, study table fixtures, portrait lighting, and fiber optic display case lighting. These provide a degree of flexibility for various functions including poetry readings, lectures, study and viewing rare books and artifacts.