Framingham State University, McCarthy Dining Commons Expansion

Framingham, Massachusetts

Program and dining opportunities at the University's McCarthy Campus Center were severely constrained by an existing plan, which strung out the seating in an embedded floor level where no combination of appropriate ceiling height and column spacing could support celebratory events. Only 50 of the existing 500 seats had direct views to the outdoors.

The ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$643.94FEATURED IN2014 Educational Interiors 5,700-square-foot addition was conceived as a transparent “jewel box” formed by continuous glazing where all 250 new seats visually participate in the campus landscape: a new elevated garden at the southwest, a heavily treed primary campus pathway to the north, and – because the floor elevation of the facility is nine feet above the level of the existing adjacent surface parking – the parallel stands of dense trees to the west which frame a historic neo-Romanesque chapel just beyond the project site.

The 14-foot tall soffit within the 55-foot clearspan central space, highlighted by its contemporary halo-like “chandeliers,” defines the volume of formal seating.