The renovation of this 1962 dining facility has transformed it into a vital student commons. By consolidating gathering spaces normally within residential buildings, the university has greatly enhanced the sense of community.
Constrained by a tight budget, the university used screen walls, guardrail scrims and entrance canopies that are assembled from a COST PER SQ FT$119.89FEATURED IN2007 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation kit-of-parts and are inspired by the building’s original detailing. The energetic composition capitalizes on light, transparency, materiality and expressive tectonic assemblages to create a revitalized campus nexus.
The translucent screen wall on the north facade creates a powerful aesthetic overhaul while visually screening the rooftop mechanical and loading dock, and filtering views from the meeting hall to the parking lot. Around the perimeter balcony, new stainless-steel conveyor belt mesh resolves the non-code-compliant railings—doubling as solar shading and screening service doors.
Translucent exterior canopies at the east and west entrances punctuate the transition of a primary campus pedestrian axis into the interior social environments. These spaces are organized along a central street, aligning with this axis. Resident needs are supported by a corner cafe, post office, “virtual office” study alcove, country kitchen, media library, provisions depot and a town hall meeting room.