Miami University, Western Dining Commons

Oxford, Ohio

  • FIRM

    CBT Architects


    Miami University

  • AREA

    46,000 sq.ft.





Associated Firms: Carol R. Johnson Associates (Landscape Architect), Champlin Architecture (Construction Administration), Heapy Engineering (Engineering)


Design team

Christopher Hill, AIA; Andrew Wang, RA LEED AP BD+C; John Carlson; Gil Strickler AIA LEED AP


Sited on a natural, gently rolling grassy field ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY625CITATIONLouis I. Kahn CitationFEATURED IN2016 Architectural Portfolio ascends into a ravine riverway, the new Western Dining Commons meets the needs for additional campus dining on the Western Campus and provides five distinct dining experiences, each delineated by the natural stepping of the building. The building is strategically sited at the nexus of the new student housing district on Western Campus and along a new primary walkway that connects the campuses.

The unique multilevel dining experience celebrates the natural landscape with large open vistas. It connects diners to the outdoors by incorporating the views and by exploring tall, dramatic space. Diverse, comfortable seating options fill these naturally lighted spaces. A fireplace at the south end of the room is a highlight. Outdoor terraces provide a comfortable dining and working hub and further the indoor outdoor relationship.

The building’s parti is a series of gently stepped pavilions terracing down the landscape, each linked by taller, glass clerestory monitors that bring daylight deep into the building. Each pavilion houses a distinct culinary venue, all of which flow together into one unified space. The geometry of the pavilions and monitors contrasts against the undulating landscape and trees. Tall expanses of curtain wall evoke the rhythm of trees and provide vistas to connect to the outside.

The building incorporates landscape features that celebrate site topography and water management. Limestone interior walls extend out to the landscape and transform into low walls stepping down the hillside.

The LEED Silver building has a green roof that helps control rainwater, and light monitors help reduce reliance upon artificial lighting.