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Rathskeller Renovation
Schenectady, New York
Union College

The Rathskeller is a popular late-night dining facility on the Union College Campus. The 5,000 square foot basement space was severely damaged by a flood in 2014. architecture+ provided design and interior design services for the $2 million renovation.

The College took advantage of the opportunity to update this unique space while repairing the damage. The Rathskeller’s barrel vaulting is its most defining and dominant feature. The space is also characterized by it’s low ceiling height and absence of natural light. Our challenge was to modernize the space while respecting the existing cave-like structure that added to the popularity of the space.

The well-received transformation created an old-world feel by exposing the stone foundation to complement the underground atmosphere and preserve an endearing student mural. We updated the floor with warm, wood toned tile and carefully selected and low profile lighting to complement the space without overwhelming it. Cove lighting was also used at the at the top of the column casework to accentuate the arches and to give the Rathskeller much needed height. In addition, the dining experience was enhanced by updating all of the kitchen equipment and reconfiguring the ordering system.

“My experience working with architecture+ was positive and engaging. They listened to all of our suggestions, ideas and needs and tried to incorporate them into the design. They are a truly professional organization with a collaborative approach to design.”

David Gaul, Dining Services Director, Union College

The human side of architecture