Spooner Hall Commons

The interdisciplinary lecture space known as the “Commons” was a collaborative project among KU’s Biodiversity Institute, Spencer Museum of Art and the Hall Center for the Humanities. Located in historic Spooner Hall, the adaptable space is intended to act as a common ground for interdisciplinary study and exploration across the sciences, arts and humanities.

The space was updated to accommodate for modern needs, while being mindful of the historical integrity of the space. Modern equipment including two large projection screens, an upgraded electrical system and wireless internet access support a diverse range of activities. Restorations of the interior finishes included painting the original cast iron columns and wood moldings, as well as patching and painting the plaster walls. New bio-based bamboo flooring replaces the worn vinyl and a suspended perforated metal ceiling both conceals a track lighting system and improves the acoustical properties of the main hall and apse. These improvements received state tax credits which helped to fund a portion of the project.

Sabatini Architects worked in collaboration with the former KU Professor Barry Newton, to create a design that transformed the former library back to its historical roots.