University of Connecticut McMahon Dining Hall

Storrs, CT

“This is a terrific step forward in our service to students. We have applied advanced, sustainable technologies while creating a great place people want to spend time in.”

– Dennis Pierce, Director of Dining Services, University of Connecticut

Client

University of Connecticut

Program

Expansion and renovation of 14,000 SF 500-seat dining facility with a 5,000 SF addition.

Sustainability

LEED Commercial Interiors Gold Certified

Press

Press Release, May 2013

Challenge

To transform under-performing 300-seat dining center at McMahon residential complex into a modern, sustainable, multipurpose social and dining space. Open since the mid 1960’s, McMahon operated a single cafeteria line serving a central dining room lined with rectangular cafeteria-style tables. As one of the main dining halls on its large campus, UConn aimed to make this space a showcase for great food and student interaction.

Solution

Complete renovation and addition to the existing facility and 5,000 SF “glass pavilion in the woods” creates a lively, social environment which showcases the food and offers seating alternatives that encourage students to gather, study, dine, or relax. Cuisine options are prepared on-demand and in a restaurant-style “display kitchen” atmosphere, offering fresh, new food stations with rotating cuisine options.

Results

Hallmarks a new way of thinking for UConn with food as the star and a dining space that goes beyond just eating. Whether it’s sitting bar-style in the cafe to lounging in a banquette by the new glass curtain wall overlooking the campus foliage, the newly designed dining facility serves as a modern social and dining hotspot for students and patrons at UConn.

Awards

Best Small Project, 2013
Engineering News Record

Power of Change Award – Most Energy Efficient Top Building, 2013
Power of Change Consortium, State of Connecticut

1st Place for Excellence in Renovation / Construction, 2013
Associated Builders & Contractors

Small Projects Award of Merit, 2013
Connecticut Building Congress