Honorable Mention - SCUP Excellence in Architecture for a New Building

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech West Village Dining Commons
Georgia Institute of Technology - Georgia Tech West Village Dining Commons
Jury Comments
“. . . real student magnet . . . like urban design moves and landscape around it . . . mixed-use building defines courtyard building off of adjacent buildings . . . excellent integration into the landscape of sustainability principles . . . covered porches are a perfect response to circulation . . . would be a favorite hangout spot . . .”


    • Site – 1.76 acres; Building – 54,600 gsf / 39,298 asf
    • The new Dining Commons has become the centerpiece of a portion of campus that lacked a true heart.
    • The building seeks to integrate water, food, views, and daylight into a unified whole.
    • It is a demonstration of the university’s commitment to buildings as living laboratories that celebrate and educate.
    • The main lawn joins the dining portion with the music school, featuring a small stage for campus performances.
    • The great porch solved a circulation challenge and maximized views.
    • By creating covered outdoor areas with lighting, fans, and sliding doors, the building’s exterior program is practical, biophilic, and cost effective.
    • Rainwater and condensate captured on the large dining roof is funneled into a publicly visible cistern that provides water for landscape irrigation, while surface stormwater is gathered into a series of rain gardens.


Once a surface parking lot, the West Village Dining Commons is a vibrant, multi-purpose campus facility designed to balance the School of Music and other academic functions with social, dining, and retail options for students and faculty in the West Campus quadrant. By connecting a complicated and steep site, the facility draws the Georgia Tech community to the underutilized West Campus where students, faculty, and visitors can refuel and connect.

The design team sought to create a building that would draw students out of their traditional silos to interact more with each other and create new networks. Viewing food as a social condenser, the design centered on uniting food with academic and social collaboration spaces to foster interdisciplinary growth. Multiple kitchen venues are strategically located near classrooms and study rooms to encourage the campus community to collide and connect in unanticipated ways. The program features outdoor covered spaces to save cost and energy while promoting a connection with the outdoors. The emphasis of systems-on-display and performance over decoration is central to the ethos of Georgia Tech.

Local traffic and pedestrian circulation analysis found that students would approach the site from all different directions, and the challenging terrain and adjoining structures demanded an inventive solution. Combining on-grade entries with bridges from adjacent buildings to the building’s upper levels and a system of exterior porches, inspired by the local vernacular, were used to encourage exploration and infuse every part of the building with activity.

Project Team

Lake | Flato; also Cooper Carry; Uzun+Case; Johnson Spellman & Associates; Williams & Associates