Spacesmith converted a former chemistry library into much needed classroom space on the 4th floor of Columbia University’s Chandler Hall. The 6,500 sf project also included renovating space on the third floor to relocate private and shared offices effected during construction.
For this project, Spacesmith developed a flexible design that addresses the new demands of the modern-day classroom such as proper acoustics for verbal presentations, technical capabilities to support digital presentations and teleconferencing, and spaces that can adapt to every student’s needs and allows for collaboration.
Two smaller rooms are dedicated testing areas for students with documented disabilities who may require certain accommodations.These rooms are more intimate, smaller in size, allow one desk per student, and offer significant natural light.
Two larger rooms are utilized for classes and lecture halls. Each holds rows of fixed table systems with seats that are able to rotate 180 degrees, allowingstudents to collaborate when needed. The largest lecture room, which is able to hold 125 students, provides ADA accessible seating throughout the room, as well as state-of-the-art AV equipment. This includes two large motorized projection screens with LED monitors for digital presentations and enhanced visibility at the rear of the room as well as multiple audio speakers to amplify the teacher or lecturer.Each room is also fitted with acoustical fabrics and materials with a high Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) rating.
The acoustical slatted ceiling baffles, made with recycled content, reduce unwanted sound reverberation and drop seals around doors add another layer of control. Durable carpeting, also made with high recycled content, was specified for a long life-cycle and to absorb foot traffic.
The design team chose a natural palette of blond maple for the fixed seating and table systems in the large rooms, and white oak, perforated millwork panels along the walls. The back wall acoustical fabric pops with one of Columbia University’s signature colors, a deep, bold blue. As requested by Columbia’s faculty, each room features sliding chalk boards with metallic chalk holders.