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The Konneker Room

The Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries
3648 Washington Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63108

Interior Design
General Contracting

The Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries is an historic space, originally designed to house the first location of The Ethical Society in the early 20th century. Designed by architect Louis Spiering, the building is a study in incredible acoustics and Craftsman-style warmth.

A parking garage originally stood to the west of the historic building, and around the year 2000, it was converted to additional interior space, housing the art gallery, hospitality services for productions, and a 10,000-square foot private event space, then called the Spiering Room. Because the Spiering Room was in a converted parking garage, it shared some of the architecture of one, most notably very low ceilings and a prominent column grid. The original Spiering Room was dark, and it was mostly due to the architecture of the space.

In 2020, our design and construction teams put their heads together to see how we could make the space lighter and brighter, while still paying homage to the Sheldon. Working closely with The Sheldon’s HVAC contractor, we determined we could get some height in the center of the room without sacrificing the performance of the plenum heating and cooling system. We selected low-profile chandeliers for a little sparkle that would maintain the heightened appearance of the room. We standardized the lighting throughout the space and introduced a lighting control system to create different scenes as needed for their busy roster of special events.

The carpet is a contemporary stylized interpretation of William Morris’s “Strawberry Thief” tapestry, a popular textile motif in the early 20th century. It also subtly references the vertical garden armature on the west wall of the building that houses this room. The space was painted white, a neutral backdrop for any event. We tucked recessed drapery track in two locations across the room, allowing the special events team to subdivide the room into thirds to accommodate smaller functions.  

At its grand opening, the space was renamed the Konneker Room to honor the family whose financial generosity made the renovation possible. Though a new look with a different name, the Konneker Room still pays homage to the spirit and taste of Louis Spiering.