In a quest for increased and updated kitchen and dining room space, the Conrad Grebel University College Board of Governors has approved a kitchen and dining room expansion and renovation architectural feasibility study. After careful review, the College has engaged Moriyama and Teshima Architects (MTA) to lead the study. MTA is one of the most prestigious architectural firms in Canada. They have led similar studies for organizations around the world including many colleges and universities in Ontario. They also have significant experience with the assessment, renovation and adaptive reuse of existing buildings.
The goal of this project is to provide a feasibility study for Grebel’s Food Services facilities that will:
- Accommodate increased dining capacity;
- Redesign the food serving line to allow more options, better flow and better organization;
- Redesign food prep and food serving areas to accommodate special diets;
- Improve people traffic flow through and around the dining room;
- Improve service and delivery access to the kitchen; and
- Improve waste removal for the kitchen.
The Feasibility Study will ensure that new and renovated spaces will integrate well with the existing building, in particular the atrium, the patio, walkways, and chapel foyer, plus any future expansions. Leading standards of environmentally sustainable construction will be incorporated in order to maintain the vital interests of the College.
The Grebel dining room often acts as the heart of the Grebel community – a place for daily gatherings for activities beyond just dining; a space for dialogue and discussions; weekly community suppers; and as a space for students, residents, staff, study groups, informal meetings and gatherings. The feasibility study will recognize this multifaceted usage of the dining space and search for opportunities to build and enhance this critical community building space.
Acting as Partner in Charge on the project is Grebel alumnus Brian Rudy (BES ’89). “I have many fond memories of my time at Grebel, and would consider them some of the best years of my life,” he wrote, describing his excitement to work on this project. “At MTA, we strive to create spaces that foster community engagement, social interaction and academic excellence, providing enduring value and memory over time. This is certainly the type of space that the Grebel Dining Room represents in my mind.”
Driven by the central question of “what will the experience of this place be?” MTA’s collaborative design approach will work to create a food services facility that is healthy, accessible and a joy to use while being cost effective for years to come. While the project primarily supports student life, they recognize that learning happens everywhere. The spaces in the project will:
- Foster interactions, collegiality & formal / informal education / interactions;
- Facilitate program activities and socializing;
- Create a sense of intimacy, warmth, humaneness, personal security, welcome and friendship;
- Support a “Learning Anywhere, Learning Anytime” pedagogy;
- Support an effective and sustainable student experience;
- Ensure a welcoming, accessible, safe environment that is open, transparent and easy to navigate;
- Encourage community building and engagement;
- Providing flexible, “future-proof”, adaptable spaces;
- Maintain environmental sustainability and energy efficiency; and
- Enhance the College identity.
“We are pleased to be working with such a capable and enthusiastic team of consultants,” remarked Grebel’s Director of Operations, Paul Penner. “It’s been 25 years since our last dining room renovation so we are ready for a makeover. Grebel has developed a reputation for excellence in food service and with MTA at the helm, I am confident that we will only enhance what’s already been established.”