Create A Destination: College Campus Dining Reimagined


When SUNY Geneseo Campus Auxiliary Service (CAS) engaged us the goal was to re-enliven a 1960’s freshman dining hall. “Our freshman dining hall wasn’t even on the college tour,” shared Mark Scott, Executive Director of SUNY Geneseo CAS. Together, we infused the dated space with an “Eat-Study-Play” theme and a design solution that transformed the separated 2-story building into a connected multi-story commons/satellite student center. 

With the theme in mind, there was a lot of work done under the hood to ensure success. Our Edge Architecture CEO, Allen Rossignol commented, “Our project process engages student and administrator input. It is important to understand student perception and listen to their input. We involve them to help direct the design. From an administrative standpoint, the design team needs to know the goals of the executive team and what is happening with enrollment, with alumni, with parents; and we need to provide them the resources for recruitment success.” 

It’s not uncommon for the project process to require change. Many projects require down-sizing to meet budgets and menu requirements; the trick is to look at innovative solutions to maintain both functional and aesthetic goals. Food service layouts often have to react to existing infrastructure, staffing and equipment flexibility in changing menus.

Food service designers do a great job in advising how equipment can serve multiple purposes and service times, such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Flexible equipment items can be designed to allow for any production adjustments in menu offerings. For example, pizza ovens can be used for multiple products such as steak, fish and baked goods,” says Paul Cumpstey, Design Director of Kaizen Food Service Planning & Design. 

“We have never worked with a group of design professionals like Edge,” stated Michael Williams with Chartwells at SUNY Plattsburgh, “they really listened to our needs and criticisms and then, they actually came back with design changes that solved our needs.”

Discover how Edge can help your university not only reclaim your dining hall, but to create a destination. Contact us today.