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Redefining Academic Space: The Transformation of Room 290 at Stanford

To adapt to new educational methodologies, the prestigious school of law at Stanford, CA (USA), has embarked on a revolutionary project to renovate its Room 290, a space now defined by its flexibility and innovative design. This project was carried out by the design and architecture studio MKThink in collaboration with Figueras Seating, establishing a new paradigm in educational space design.

Originally built in the 1970s, the concrete structure of the room required a transformation that not only revitalized its aesthetics but also met the functional demands of a modern educational environment. The challenge was to transform a static and rigid space into a versatile and dynamic learning environment, capable of accommodating both small academic sessions and large public events.

The focus of this transformation was the reevaluation of the seating system. The main challenge was to achieve comfort and functionality for both small-format classes and lectures or master classes for more than 300 people. The innovative solution adopted involved the installation of a customized chair that transforms into a bench, maximizing the room’s capacity and functionality without compromising comfort or aesthetics. This design, inspired by the project Figueras developed for Telefónica Space in Madrid, not only enhances the user experience but also optimizes the available space, allowing the room to adapt seamlessly to various configurations and group sizes.

The arrangement on two tiers of different inclinations provides full visibility while harmonizing the whole setup, preventing the feeling of an empty room when used for smaller groups. Room 290 exemplifies architecture that supports cutting-edge education and serves as a model for prestigious faculties.

This ambitious project not only meets the immediate needs of the institution but also sets a standard for the future of academic spaces. The result is a multifunctional room that can easily switch from one configuration to another, reflecting Figueras Seating’s commitment to excellence and innovation in creating seating solutions that meet the demands of contemporary educational spaces.

he project for Room 290 at Stanford serves as a clear example of how, with careful design and collaboration with expert partners, even the most challenging environments can be reimagined. This approach not only benefits today’s students but also anticipates future needs, demonstrating that it is possible to redefine educational spaces to encourage more interactive and participatory learning.

At Figueras Seating, we are proud to be part of these transformations in spaces and institutions that play such a significant role in society, showing that our commitment to innovation and quality can help redefine academic environments for the next generation of students.

Discover all the details of this project in our conversation with Mark R Miller, president and Chief Design Officer of MK Think.

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