University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Hampshire Dining Commons

Amherst, Massachusetts

  • FIRM



    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

  • AREA

    46,000 sq.ft.





UMass Amherst's goals for the renovation to Hampshire Dining Commons were ambitious:

• Create the healthiest, most sustainable student dining venue in the country.

• Create an experience to complement, not compete with the Dining Commons next door.

• Make the food the star of the show.

• Deliver the project ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$265.00CITATIONBronze CitationFEATURED IN2014 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior Renovation a relatively conservative budget.

The key design move was turning the center of the building’s 20,000-square-foot main level into a single, contiguous open kitchen ringed with flexible cooking stations. Dubbed “the egg,” this circular plan allows each menu station to feature a different cuisine, resulting in a guest experience akin to shopping along a continuous street market. While creating operational efficiencies and eliminating the equipment redundancies typically found in “scatter” configurations. This big move also served to spread the seating into smaller groups around the building’s glassy, pavilion-like perimeter. The team leveraged the austere beauty of the building’s original structure and executed a simple palette of exposed concrete, raw steel, and reclaimed wood.

The result is a dynamic, relaxed, destination experience where food truly takes center stage.