Sustainable use of common building materials and explorations in micro-comfort zones create a new a social anchor for an expanding campus.

Ashley McGraw designed renovations and an addition to Syracuse University’s Sadler Dining Hall. The design team was tasked with several broad objectives including: increase the seating capacity from 300 to 500; provide a new entry sequence addressing flow and accessibility issues; expand the serving areas; provide a new ware washing area; and replace some kitchen equipment. Some of the new or expanded serving stations include vegan, soup/salad, cooked to order meals, and deli. New breakfast and dessert counters are also included.

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The site design includes new circulation paths as well as rain gardens to reduce the amount of storm water being sent off site.

A 4,900 square foot addition accommodates the new entry sequence, new ware wash, and additional seating. A new elevator in the addition resolved accessibility issues and a new stair improves flow from the attached residence hall. The addition also creates a more prominent presence for the dining facility on the site, making it more visible to the adjacent campus community.


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The design team explored ways to use common materials in a more sustainable way.

The primary exterior materials are local harvested black locust lumber siding and locally quarried blue stone. The black locust, a highly durable, rot resistant wood, is applied in a rain screen system and left unfinished. This will allow it to age naturally, turning to a beautiful gray color over time. In addition to being highly durable and cost-effective, the material is a visual expression of the campus’s sustainability goals. The dining hall also serves the adjacent SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

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Location: Syracuse, Ny
Photos: John Griebsch Photography

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