University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Berkshire Dining Commons

Amherst, Massachusetts

UMass has had an excellent dining program for many years, but its dining facilities, which were built in the 1960s and 70s, had a difficult time keeping up with changes in food-delivery techniques and student needs. The Berkshire Dining Commons renovation was undertaken to address those needs.

The patronage of the dining hall has jumped from 2,500 meals per day ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$221.00FEATURED IN2007 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCafeterias/Food-Service Areas the renovation to 6,500 meals per day. The character of the dining spaces is intended to be like a restaurant despite its 850-seat capacity.

“This is not the cafeteria of your parents’ or grandparents’ day,” says Ken Toong, UMass dining director. “It is a state-of-the-art facility with 11 concepts (kitchens) with an impressive color scheme of warm yellows and reds on the walls. But there is more than just beauty behind the new dining commons; the flexibility of each station and the ability to integrate various concepts, seamlessly, is what makes this dining facility stand above the crowd.”

"Impressive use of lighting highlights the well-thought-out interior details of this project. Easy to maintain, good circulation.”--2007 jury