The aging 1968 cafeteria was divided into two self-contained service and dining areas. Upgrading was needed, and administrators seized the opportunity to explore potential for remaking the space to create a cohesive, technology-rich cafeteria commons. The challenges were to open up and unify the existing space, gain seating capacity, update the kitchen COST PER SQ FT$249.00FEATURED IN2012 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCafeterias/Food-Service Areas service areas, and create a modern student commons that encouraged students to stay on campus.
The design solution removed cafeteria and corridor walls to create a bright, open commons with daylighting, views to the outside, access to an outdoor terrace, and 162 additional seats in a more flexible configuration. A central focal point was created around the food-service area by framing it with curving, raised counter seating. The ceiling grid system allows for a sense of more openness and forms a strong unifying graphic, which is punctuated by circular lightwells, and vibrant wall and furniture accents.
Flat-panel monitors, wireless technology and charging stations enliven the space to create an engaging and flexible 21st-century media commons.