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  Georgia State University Piedmont North Dining HallGeorgia State University Piedmont North Dining Hall


Richard Wittschiebe Hand Architects
15 Simpson Street, Atlanta, GA 30002

General Description

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Date Bid: Mar 2011 Construction Period: Apr 2011 to Aug 2011
Total Square Feet: 12,300  Site: 3.82 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Size: First floor, 12,300; total, 12,300 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 24’; total, 24’.
Basic Construction Type: Type IB, Sprinklered/Addition.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: Metal panel, cement siding. Roof: Membrane. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall..

Project Team

Structural Engineer: Bryntesen Structural Engineers - 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
General Contractor & Cost Estimator: JWR Construction Services, Inc. - 1311 West Newport Center Drive, #C, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Kamm Consulting, Inc. - 1407 W. Newport Center Drive, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
Landscape Architect: Architectural Alliance, Inc. - 612 S.W. 4th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

The Piedmont North Dining Hall is a new addition to a student housing complex at Georgia State University. The housing complex has been developed from two former hotels in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The existing dining hall in one of the hotels was determined to be too small for the expanding housing complex, so the new dining hall addition, with seating for 325, was constructed. The dining facility is sited along the busy Piedmont Avenue corridor, partly nested under the existing building, with the new commercial kitchen located in a portion of the renovated hotel. The building facade presents a vibrant and inviting face to the city conveying an active urban face using form, color and transparency to convey the social character of the building’s interior activity.

The Georgia State University had three main goals for their new student dining hall: a dynamic and attractive environment, a space with a bright and airy feel, and an environmentally responsible, low maintenance, highly durable environment. Food service has become an important factor in attracting and maintaining students on campus, so appealing and interesting aesthetics were a key component.

To meet the first design goal, the “scramble serve” system of food presentation was adopted. Themed food station islands were dispersed about the rectangular box of the main dining hall. Patrons flow between and around the stations, adding activity to the room and lessening the chance of long lines developing. Each food station was customized and individualized with unique materials and signage to aid in the “concept branding” within the dining hall. The colors and materials were selected to be fresh and appealing. Building a screen wall with punched openings shot through with bamboo resin glass elevated the utilitarian dish drop-off area to a design feature in the room. Decorative lighting and large mottled tiles behind the Mongolian grille provide a dramatic focus upon entering the space. A variety of seating options are available – 4-top tables, 2-top tables, and counter seating at the Food Islands and in front of the perimeter windows.

To meet the second goal, it was important that the dining hall have plenty of natural daylight. The new addition is attached to the existing hotel on its south and east sides. These sides of the dining hall have lower ceilings, due to the limits of the existing structure, but they provide opportunity to have seating areas that are more intimate and cozy. On the north and west sides of the hall, large expanses of storefront were used to provide light and views. A portion of the roof over the main seating area was raised to provide clerestory windows. The roof structure was sloped to give additional formal expression to the exterior. High and low ceilings articulate zones of activity, with the higher area providing opportunity for sound to dissipate in the acoustical metal deck. Walls are painted in shades of white with splashes of color defining beverage zones, condiment zones, and other food service areas. Stainless steel gleams at the service islands to provide the user with a clean, bright and modern aesthetic.

To meet the third goal of a sustainable, durable, low maintenance facility, the owner and the design team considered multiple factors for each material. Local source materials were important to meet sustainability requirements. Compatibility with other campus dining facilities was important for the operations and maintenance. Yet an upscale appearance was important for student appeal. With these elements in mind the team utilized polished concrete flooring in areas of high traffic, softer carpet tiles to define seating areas, and tile flooring in wet areas to be hose cleaned. Decorative large format porcelain tiles or polished stainless steel provide highly scrubable areas behind food displays. Exposed painted steel structure, glass tile accents, quartz countertops as well as patterned translucent panels contribute to a vital and vibrant space.

Product Information
Metal Panels: Petersen Aluminum   Cement Panels: James Hardie
Gypsum: USG   Roofing: GAF   Flooring: Stonhard, Daltile
Entrances & Storefronts: United States Aluminum
Lighting: Ledality, Prima, Edison Price, Daybrite, Morlite, Kramer

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