The purpose of renovating D2@Virginia Tech was to re-energize the traditional 1970 facility and create a more accurate expression of the contemporary Virginia Tech college experience. The design for the dining hall, which opened in August 2004, transformed the facility from a straight-line cafeteria to an international marketplace; it takes traditional dining to the ASSOCIATED FIRMRicca Newmark DesignCOST PER SQ FT$185.71FEATURED IN2006 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCafeterias/Food-Service Areas level.
Careful planning, space programming and concept development played a crucial role in the project’s success and enabled it to be completed on a tight schedule. Several charrette workshops were conducted with the university community, including student groups, during which the D2 program requirements were established.
The resulting vision incorporated eight major food platforms, including Salsas, Eden’s, Mangia!, La Patisserie, Gauchos, East Side Deli, Pan Asia and Olives, serving restaurant-quality cuisine in an all-you-care-to-eat environment. The facility is the largest on campus and can accommodate more than 1,100 customers. Dining areas are organized around the perimeter adjacent to the building’s high windows to capture campus and scenic views.
Ceiling heights are varied, and help to define spaces and circulation paths. The design used simple materials, color changes and specialty lighting to create unique identities for each venue. This approach enables the facility to evolve easily as it responds to changing customers and menu trends.