Dining Experience Transformation at UND Wilkerson Commons

FE&S Feature Project September 2016

UND Grand Forks – Wilkerson Commons transformed the dining experience with a culinary support center and contemporary food-themed platforms.

wilkerson-dining-center-garden-greens_smWilkerson Hall was the largest dining center serving five surrounding residence halls housing 1,300 students, but it had the lowest participation. One of the challenges facing the design team was to enhance the perception of food at Wilkerson Hall which was previously seen as not equal to other venues on campus. The foodservice design needed to be impactful enough to change the students’ minds. This was accomplished with display cooking at each station and by giving each individual food station its own identify based on the menu items being served.

Another challenge was that, given the significant investment, the university wanted to maximize flexibility of spaces to provide a variety of functions beyond dining. One of the ways this was accomplished was by designing parts of the building, such as the kitchen and serving area, to be shut down at certain times while other areas, such as seating, could remain open. The stone hearth pizza concept in the main serving area was designed to support this flexible use by incorporating an after-hours serving window that faces the dining room. Read more here…

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