• 2012 Best Concept Award Winners
• Best Convenience Retailing Concept: New Have Public Schools
• Best Rennovation: Yale University
• Best Special Event: Ohio State University Medical Center
• Best Wellness Initiative: Hallmark Cards, Inc.
• Best Station Concept: Restaurant Associates
• Best Management Company Concepts: Sodexo
• Best Menu: UCLA
The dining environment at Stanford University traditionally consisted of dining halls in each residential facility. That certainly made them great community builders for the individual building populations. Unfortunately, it also worked as a significant force that tended to limit university-wide cohesion.
Enter Arrillaga Family Dining Commons, the first dining facility to be built on the Palo Alto campus in almost 20 years. It opened last September after seven years of development.
Was it worth the wait!
The 31,000-sq.ft., two-story building is designed to be far more than just a dining hall, even though it’s primary purpose is to serve as the home dining facility for students in two nearby residence halls. It is also about academic enrichment and providing a food- and wellness-focused student lifestyle center.
Cozy, soft seating on the first floor encourages staying and relaxing while large commmunity tables accommodate communal activities. A series of conference/study rooms (with state-of-the-art multimedia capabilities) facilitate collaboration. There are also options for those feeling non-communal, who have access to quiet, private places for study.
Flat-panel screens throughout the premises, meanwhile, broadcast news, sports and entertainment as well as demonstrations taking place in the culinary studio on the second floor. Those in the mood for skipping the video intermediary can look through the large viewing windows along a lobby wall into the onsite central kitchen, where real life meal production is efficiently under way both for the dining room upstairs and for other Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries operations (retail outlets, athletic concessions, catering, Stanford Guest House, other dining halls, etc.).