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