Contract - Educational Design Trends: Food Courting

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Educational Design Trends: Food Courting

24 November, 2009

-By Pauline Harris


American architect Frank Lloyd Wright called the practice of integrated design “organic design,” which he sought to define as design that uses the important relationship between the parts and the whole of a building. Wright understood that with integrated design any project would benefit from all groups working together to ensure consistency throughout every level of detail.

The main clause in integrated design efforts deals with incorporating several points of view into one unified collaborative effort to make the project the best it can be. Dealing with the differences between retail and operational design in any space creates a uniquely symbiotic relationship where efficiency and flexibility are paramount. The trend for integrated design is all about creating open facilities where a comfortable workspace for customers as well as employees is essential to keep a consistent flow. Increasingly more buildings are being built with the concept of integrated design at the forefront.

Colleges are now adapting the integrated design approach to their own campus dining facilities. The galley-style of pushing a tray down a rail and picking out prepared food for college dining halls is changing into a more open and interactive environment for students. Dining halls that utilize integrated design elements may feature more high-style lighting, counters, and tables that are vastly different from traditional collegiate dining halls. Schools featuring integrated design in their dining halls also employ upgraded, state-of-the-art foodservice facilities as a sales tool for new students, and almost all food is made fresh to order in front of students to allow them to be more involved with their eating choices.

Hospitality Services Inc., a firm specializing in foodservice, interior, and graphic design for airports, food courts, restaurants, corporations, and commercial kitchens, has been renovating and reinventing college cafeterias around the nation utilizing the integrated design approach since 1988, including such projects as Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, and Washington College in Chestertown, Md.

A small private college, Marywood University commissioned Chartwells and HSI to reinvent the structure of its current dining facility. Especially targeted toward a small school, the updated facility elicits a sense of individual attention and interaction. Using the existing space available, approximately 7,000 sq. ft., designers constructed an open floor layout with island stations throughout, offering a range of dining options to students. Dark wood, pendant lighting and wide, curved counters added to the feeling of a comfortable, homey environment rather than an inhospitable, impersonal cafeteria.

When redesigning the foodservice facility at Robert Morris University, HSI faced a different challenge, as the dining hall was situated on a busy student corridor. To maximize space, HSI completely gutted a small, overcrowded retail coffee shop along with the adjacent office space in order to create a 5,000-sq.-ft. interactive combination concept with a fresh market, coffee shop, and a sandwich cafe. Infused with natural light, the Marketplace was designed around a central oval focal point where most of the merchandising takes place while the rest of the space spreads concentrically. The design’s primary purpose was to adequately accommodate the heavy flow of student traffic. Open, warm, inviting, and culturally current, the Marketplace uses custom acrylics, specialty lighting and bright bold colors to create an atmosphere that both welcomes and interests the collegiate crowd.

For its most recent project, HSI teamed with Baltimore’s GWWO Architects for the planning and design of Washington College’s newest state-of-the-art dining facility, Hodson Hall Commons. HSI also developed a complete brand design management package that included kitchens, display cuisine stations, and interior layouts and graphics. The collaboration between GWWO, HSI, and Washington College resulted in an overall master plan to position Hodson Hall Commons as the new heart of the campus, replacing an outdated 1960s structure and mirroring the original building’s design with a two-story floor plan that centers on the campus quad. Sections of Hodson Hall Commons have been designed as a student union building. The original Hodson Hall had room for 368 student diners while the new revamped facility, which has dining seats for 600 students, is sized to fit up to 1,800 students.

“As everyone knows, at one time dining halls were designed in a traditional cafeteria style, with long galleys with minimal options,” says HSI president Allan Hirsh. “Today, Hodson Hall Commons provides Washington College students fresh food, prepared on site, and endless selections in a light, clean, and friendly environment.”

The major change that has taken place at Hodson Hall Commons is the conversion of the dining hall from a primarily self-service arrangement of predetermined food options to an open service station set-up where students can make their own choices and watch their meal be prepared in front of them. Three floors of seating including a mezzanine and outdoor area provides students with a variety of casual dining opportunities. The food court-style dining room options allow students to go into cupboards to stock their own specialty food items, which chefs can then cook. Also unique to Hodson Hall Commons is The Egg, which is a stage area in the lower level with performance space and café-style seating. Hodson Hall Commons also includes white boards where students can express their opinions of the new facility, or make suggestions about what food they want to see offered. This reinvigorated dining hall will allow each student to customize his or her eating environment to suit unique needs and preferences.

Pauline Harris is the owner/principal of SPIN, a marketing and public relations firm specializing in integrated marketing for the built environment since 1994, based in Baltimore with an office in Washington, D.C. For additional information, Harris can be reached at pauline@spinLLC.com.




Educational Design Trends: Food Courting

24 November, 2009


American architect Frank Lloyd Wright called the practice of integrated design “organic design,” which he sought to define as design that uses the important relationship between the parts and the whole of a building. Wright understood that with integrated design any project would benefit from all groups working together to ensure consistency throughout every level of detail.

The main clause in integrated design efforts deals with incorporating several points of view into one unified collaborative effort to make the project the best it can be. Dealing with the differences between retail and operational design in any space creates a uniquely symbiotic relationship where efficiency and flexibility are paramount. The trend for integrated design is all about creating open facilities where a comfortable workspace for customers as well as employees is essential to keep a consistent flow. Increasingly more buildings are being built with the concept of integrated design at the forefront.

Colleges are now adapting the integrated design approach to their own campus dining facilities. The galley-style of pushing a tray down a rail and picking out prepared food for college dining halls is changing into a more open and interactive environment for students. Dining halls that utilize integrated design elements may feature more high-style lighting, counters, and tables that are vastly different from traditional collegiate dining halls. Schools featuring integrated design in their dining halls also employ upgraded, state-of-the-art foodservice facilities as a sales tool for new students, and almost all food is made fresh to order in front of students to allow them to be more involved with their eating choices.

Hospitality Services Inc., a firm specializing in foodservice, interior, and graphic design for airports, food courts, restaurants, corporations, and commercial kitchens, has been renovating and reinventing college cafeterias around the nation utilizing the integrated design approach since 1988, including such projects as Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, and Washington College in Chestertown, Md.

A small private college, Marywood University commissioned Chartwells and HSI to reinvent the structure of its current dining facility. Especially targeted toward a small school, the updated facility elicits a sense of individual attention and interaction. Using the existing space available, approximately 7,000 sq. ft., designers constructed an open floor layout with island stations throughout, offering a range of dining options to students. Dark wood, pendant lighting and wide, curved counters added to the feeling of a comfortable, homey environment rather than an inhospitable, impersonal cafeteria.

When redesigning the foodservice facility at Robert Morris University, HSI faced a different challenge, as the dining hall was situated on a busy student corridor. To maximize space, HSI completely gutted a small, overcrowded retail coffee shop along with the adjacent office space in order to create a 5,000-sq.-ft. interactive combination concept with a fresh market, coffee shop, and a sandwich cafe. Infused with natural light, the Marketplace was designed around a central oval focal point where most of the merchandising takes place while the rest of the space spreads concentrically. The design’s primary purpose was to adequately accommodate the heavy flow of student traffic. Open, warm, inviting, and culturally current, the Marketplace uses custom acrylics, specialty lighting and bright bold colors to create an atmosphere that both welcomes and interests the collegiate crowd.

For its most recent project, HSI teamed with Baltimore’s GWWO Architects for the planning and design of Washington College’s newest state-of-the-art dining facility, Hodson Hall Commons. HSI also developed a complete brand design management package that included kitchens, display cuisine stations, and interior layouts and graphics. The collaboration between GWWO, HSI, and Washington College resulted in an overall master plan to position Hodson Hall Commons as the new heart of the campus, replacing an outdated 1960s structure and mirroring the original building’s design with a two-story floor plan that centers on the campus quad. Sections of Hodson Hall Commons have been designed as a student union building. The original Hodson Hall had room for 368 student diners while the new revamped facility, which has dining seats for 600 students, is sized to fit up to 1,800 students.

“As everyone knows, at one time dining halls were designed in a traditional cafeteria style, with long galleys with minimal options,” says HSI president Allan Hirsh. “Today, Hodson Hall Commons provides Washington College students fresh food, prepared on site, and endless selections in a light, clean, and friendly environment.”

The major change that has taken place at Hodson Hall Commons is the conversion of the dining hall from a primarily self-service arrangement of predetermined food options to an open service station set-up where students can make their own choices and watch their meal be prepared in front of them. Three floors of seating including a mezzanine and outdoor area provides students with a variety of casual dining opportunities. The food court-style dining room options allow students to go into cupboards to stock their own specialty food items, which chefs can then cook. Also unique to Hodson Hall Commons is The Egg, which is a stage area in the lower level with performance space and café-style seating. Hodson Hall Commons also includes white boards where students can express their opinions of the new facility, or make suggestions about what food they want to see offered. This reinvigorated dining hall will allow each student to customize his or her eating environment to suit unique needs and preferences.

Pauline Harris is the owner/principal of SPIN, a marketing and public relations firm specializing in integrated marketing for the built environment since 1994, based in Baltimore with an office in Washington, D.C. For additional information, Harris can be reached at pauline@spinLLC.com.

 


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