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The Blue Wall

Lincoln Campus Center, University of Massachusetts | Amherst, MA

At the University of Massachusetts Lincoln Campus Center, a mid-Century Modern Marcel Breuer designed icon, students and faculty enjoy far more than the typical cafeteria fare in the typical cafeteria setting. The Blue Wall, completed in 2014, offers a wide variety of gourmet food cooked in sustainable kitchens and a European-inspired design featuring flexible seating, abundant natural light, and an engaging connection to the outdoors.

Creating this world-class venue required a total renovation and reconfiguration of the existing dining hall presentation, service, and environment. The design needed to accommodate additional visitors from a newly completed adjacent classroom building as well as raise revenues by double digits, all while still maintaining our commitment to sustainability.

To increase The Blue Wall’s capacity and profit, improve service and selection, and create the ambiance of a casual yet classic urban dining experience, we studied the complex technical and operational problems of the dining hall. Using various LEAN design techniques—methods developed by the automotive industry for reducing waste—we crafted a solution that includes a completely redesigned venue offering 22 points of sale with exhibition cooking and enhanced menu offerings. High-turnover seating options include tall tables with stools, European standing tables, fixed floor-table seating, and a quiet lounge and study space.

The finished kitchens, serveries, and dining spaces are designed according to LEED CI Retail guidelines and include energy- and water-saving equipment, energy-efficient lighting, food pulping and composting, recycling, and sustainably designed, low-VOC furnishings and finishes.


Awards

2016 IIDA New England | Educational Interiors Award
2015 American School & University | Top Collegiate Design Award, Educational Interiors
2015 College Planning & Management | Outstanding Design Award
2015 Food Management Magazine | Best Concept Award
2015 Learning by Design | Outstanding Project Award, New Construction


 

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STATS

COMPLETED

2014

SIZE

32,000 sf

COST (2014)

$19.2 million