Harvard University, Dunster and Mather House Serveries and Kitchen

Cambridge, Massachusetts

The challenge of the joint renovation of Harvard University’s Dunster and Mather House Serveries and Kitchen was to translate the houses’ unique traditions into updated serveries that reflect the surrounding building’s architectural character and support a home-away-from-home atmosphere.

A partnership among Harvard students, administration and the architect formed ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$343.00FEATURED IN2006 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCafeterias/Food-Service Areas for each servery on designs that reinforce the house community. The solutions create a more effective food-service operation by replacing large, enclosed kitchens and cramped traditional queues in favor of a more open scatter system with multiple serving stations and display cooking.

Dunster House references the traditional 1930s dining hall through a manor house kitchen setting, featuring a central grill station and signature copper hood, a hot entree table inspired by an old cast-iron oven, and serving stations that resemble traditional cupboards. The serving area of Mather House fuses the contemporary, modernist 1960s architecture of Mather House with a humanist approach, using earth tones and materials shaped in soft curves.

The renovation is under review to become the first LEED-certified commercial interiors project to include a commercial kitchen.