Main Reading Room, Boalt Hall Library University of California, Berkeley
Our main goal was to create a room that was functional, beautiful and reflected the original design and architecture of the room and building. Although Boalt Hall has been in many ways irrevocably damaged by a series of ill-conceived add-ons over the years, the basic bones of the building are very attractive. The Main Reading Room, although significantly changed by some of the retrofitting and renovations, still retains some of its 1930s elegance, as well as a mid century modern sensibility. We did not want a “retro” look or an exact replica of the original design, but rather wanted to create a 21st century interpretation of the space. It was important that the furniture and finishes have a touch of luxury and feel rich and styled—not casual.
Custom furniture fabricated for the project was later incorporated into the manufacturer’s standard line as the Agati Boalt Hall collection. The collection features carrels, table carrels with divider options, study tables and end panels. An amalgamation of metal and wood, the collection features metal accent reveals, adding polish to the collections’ clean, crisp lines.
Photography: Russell Abraham