Lehigh University, Rathbone Dining Hall

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

  • FIRM

    Connor Architecture


    Lehigh University

  • AREA

    8,000 sq.ft.





The revitalization of Rathbone Dining Hall is a direct advancement on the changing trends in campus dining at Lehigh University and across the country.

The project team developed a dining program that combines exceptional food and atmosphere to create the quintessential dining experience. The new dining room is inherently more flexible. The architect approached the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMSodexho Campus Services; Lehigh University; Atlantic Equipment SpecialistsCAPACITY380COST PER SQ FT$125.00FEATURED IN2007 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation with the belief that it is important to dissolve boundaries, walls and barriers. Customer flow; circulation; seating options, including booths, banquettes and high-top bar seating; and table sizes contribute to the health and vitality of the dining room.

Today’s dining trends strongly point toward dining environments that create authentic restaurant experiences. Fresh, cooked-to-order meals that feature distinct and complete menu choices have required the development of individual identity design packages that go far beyond the limitations of a small servery platform. Because restaurant-style concepts are experience-driven, everything from prep, production, display cooking and plating becomes independent and autonomous to a central kitchen. The benefit to the customer is the perceived and real value of freshness, quality, variety and personalized service. From a design perspective, restaurants should be unique, independent places with distinct iconographic images and surrounding environments so they appear less institutional and more authentic.

Rathbone now is more than a place to eat a meal between classes. It’s where the Lehigh University campus makes the transformation from just a place to live and study, to a student’s home.