Hunter College

Zabar Art Library and Screening Room



The primary goal of this project was to create a shared space for students and faculty from the departments of Art, Art History and Film and Media.  By design, the Zabar Art Library and Screening Room is a resource space, a social space, a learning space and an exhibition space.  As the only dedicated space for art, art history and film students to gather outside their classrooms and studios, the library strives to strengthen community through social learning and shared interests.  Rather than hiding behind cubicles, students are encouraged to move throughout the library to view the changing display of recent acquisitions and utilize a variety of casual and traditional workspaces.

As a specialized resource space, the library provides access to a curated selection from the library’s art and art history collections.  In addition to accessing the library’s subscriptions to online databases, students can wirelessly access digital media using the library’s laptop loan program and high-speed wireless networking. 

As a social space, the library provides students a place to gather outside the classroom to share ideas and work collaboratively.  As the only dedicated space for art and art history students to gather outside the classroom, the library strengthens community through social learning and shared interests.

As a learning space, the library provides students with a variety of individual and group study environments.  Large white oak library tables furnish the primary student spaces.  Casual upholstered window seats frame views of the city skyline.  A retractable acoustic partition allows the library’s northernmost reading zone to be utilized for seminars and colloquia.  The screening room is designed to be used as a classroom as well as a viewing room with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment for the Film and Media department.

As a space for exhibitions and special events, the library displays special collections as well as recent acquisitions that have yet to enter general circulation.  The screening room also serves as exhibition space for the premier of student films and master classes.  Primarily serving Hunter’s Film and Media Studies Department, the screening room fills a programmatic and technical void for the department.  Previously, films were screened in classroom spaces without proper equipment or seating.  The new screening room seats 70 people and serves an important role in bridging the liberal and fine arts programs of Hunter College.  State-of-the-art audio-visual equipment is discretely nestled into the space to allow the bold colors of the seating and ceiling provide an abundance of visual stimulation. 


Hunter College of the City University of New York

project budget

project square footage

scope of services
• architectural design
• lighting design
• IT/AV design