George Mason University, Student Union Building 1 Food Court

Fairfax, Virginia

  • FIRM

    Alan Hamm Architects


    Sodexho Food Service--George Mason University

  • AREA

    28,669 sq.ft.





To take the place of an out-of-date food court, the university built a 6,000-square-foot Damon’s Grill, a new food court that contains Damon’s Express, Jazzman’s Cafe, Chick-Fil-A and a full-service kitchen.

The atmosphere of a freestanding Damon’s Grill was created by using banks of windows separated by existing brick columns and new brick pilasters throughout the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMEngineering Connection; Hughes and Smith ConstructionCOST PER SQ FT$315.00FEATURED IN2006 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior Renovation and main dining rooms.

The building’s extra-wide corridors create open patio seating areas. The open floor plan is divided among bar, bar dining and main dining rooms. Ceiling heights were raised to accommodate two projection-screen TVs and to take advantage of the vertical surfaces and low soffits for multiple smaller-screen TVs. Track fixtures and halogen spots provide varying lighting levels that create the illusion of tiered seating areas.

The existing brick columns, low soffits, electrical panels, kitchen equipment that was to be reused and areas of nearly impenetrable concrete turned a minor renovation into a major rehabilitation. This provided the opportunity to properly configure the kitchen equipment, restaurant and food court. The schedule allowed just three months from blueprint to the finished project.

Warm tones on the walls and a continuous, large-scale floor tile pattern and border are used to unite the existing building corridors with the new food court. Thin brick veneer is used throughout to closely match the existing brick. The color scheme is driven by the corporate colors of Jazzman’s Cafe and Damon’s Express.