Gould Academy

Bethel, Maine

A primary goal for the new dining hall was to de-institutionalize the dining experience for the school’s students. As one of the larger spaces on campus, it also would have to support a variety of diverse activities.

Intimacy is enhanced within the dining hall by reducing the ceiling height near the exterior windows. The careful selection of materials, lighting and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,200COST PER SQ FT$125.85FEATURED IN1999 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYStudent Centers/Service Areas also enhance the space’s warmth. Carpeting was the school’s first choice for flooring. Past experience demonstrated an acceptable level of maintenance and enhanced sound-attenuating properties. The lower walls are painted wood wainscoting, which helps reduce damage to the walls. Together with the warm colors and incandescent lighting, a de-institutionalized, home-like setting was created.

The dining hall has proven to be quite flexible; it can house events ranging from graduation 1998, which was attended by more than 700 people, to small group discussions at individual tables. Within its first year, the dining hall has become a new focus in the lives of the Gould Academy community.

Photographer: ©Peter Vanderwarker