American University, Mary Graydon Center Dining Hall

Washington , District of Columbia

Design team: Michael Winstanley, Yves Springuel, Brett Winterberg

Mary Graydon Center, the main dining hall for the entire campus, is in the basement of a 1928 building. This presented the design team with the daunting task of improving a windowless space with no daylight and a “forest” of clumsy columns scattered throughout the floor plate.
The solution ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMAramark, Corsi Associates, N. Wasserstrom & Sons, DEDC Engineering, Ramco, Rand ContractingCAPACITY675FEATURED IN2018 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation the forest of columns to create just that: a forest. By using original photography commissioned for the project, the design team mapped non-repeating images of trees on the columns to visually dissipate the solidity of the columns. A panoramic mural of the main quadrangle was mapped onto a large blank wall in the main seating area and illuminated from above with a linear light cove to reflect the project’s location.
Organized along a central food spine, the hall enables diners to meander through a space that offers various culinary options. The spine is designed to reflect more natural colors of stone and sky, balanced with wood tones. Off-white serving station counters and stainless steel fixtures present a bright and light environment to showcase the food.