University of Wisconsin—Madison, Babcock Hall Dairy Store

Madison, Wisconsin

Since the early 1950s, the Babcock Hall Dairy Store has been a community tradition on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison. As part of the School of Agriculture, the student-run facility produces ice cream and cheese, invents flavors and tests the dairy products served in the store. The store, however, had grown tired and worn, and its original interior needed ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$236.67FEATURED IN2002 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCafeterias/Food-Service Areas new image.

The first step was to remove the glass storefront wall separating the dining and retail functions. The basic design rotates the grid of the space around a column. This provided a security line and broke up the tunnel quality of the space. This rotation also responded to the existing structural and door limitations, which sets up the “bowtie” floor pattern and matching ceiling details. Height, color, lightness and darkness were used to define areas within the space, such as serving, seating and circulation areas.

Materials used included boldly colored linoleum floors, maple and stainless steel. Custom casework and dining-area counters used a mixture of materials to create signage elements and functional items, such as magazine holders that integrate with the backsplash of the dining counter. Mixed-light sources were used to play off the reflective metal surfaces to enhance the sense of movement throughout the space.