Stanley O'Brien Center for Collaboration & Engagement
Union College Schenectady, NY
For Union College, we designed a notable yet functional State-of-the-art conferencing and event facility, the O’Brien Center for Collaboration and Engagement. Its advanced technology and elegant, modern finishes, fixtures and flexible furniture support a variety of functions for the impressive classic campus. Taking cues from the historical campus character, the 6,000 sf addition was carefully designed to blend with adjacent Grant Hall, the existing campus Admissions building. The expansion’s vision included an inspiring conferencing space and a striking lobby with adjacent meeting spaces to support admissions activities, meetings, and other special gatherings.
Visitors first experience a beautiful lobby inspired by refined boutique hotels. Modern, whimsical wing back chairs pop garnet red, enhancing the space with bursts of color, and the large windows create the feeling of a sun room with a stunning view. Carefully selected contemporary pieces of art, from Union’s significant collection, line the walls while warm, artistic lighting fixtures float above.
The heart of the project, the Presentation Room, is furnished with flexible furniture to accommodate multiple meeting configurations including U-shaped, conference ring, dining event, and lecture style seating. Comfortable modern stacking chairs are arranged in rows for use by Admissions tours. Providing a modern twist, carpet tiles and planks mimic traditional hardwood floors, while tapestry-looking carpet tile insets acknowledge the Grant Hall spaces, and add an ornate flair.