Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI
Multi-function dining facility as campus destination
Goody Clancy designed this new destination dining facility in the heart of the university's waterfront campus. This building is pivotal in creating a new, central campus gathering place by displacing parking to the perimeter and creating a new quad that ties the campus together. With a dining hall, food court, bookstore, mail center, and entertainment venue, the building takes advantage of both the sweeping views of Mount Hope Bay and the vibrant new Quad activity.
The majority of buildings on the Roger Williams campus are of contemporary and modern design. As a signature building, The Commons nods to its surroundings with a simple masonry mass, wrapped in the same brick used on neighboring buildings. A stainless steel wedge, very different in form and materials from the surrounding buildings, containing special dining spaces, slices through the masonry mass.
- The wedge expresses circulation paths through and within the building, and reveals views of Mount Hope Bay. Projecting windows on the west side offer views into the active new green quad that unites this portion of the campus and place the student activity on display.
- Incorporating the students’ desire for various configurations and heights of seating, three main dining areas were developed: the East and West dining rooms on the second floor, and retail dining space on the first floor. Each has its own identity, ceiling heights and varying levels of intimacy.
- The East dining area easily transforms into a performance space with rigging points, audiovisual capabilities, and a portable stage incorporated into the design.
- The campus bookstore anchors the first floor and reinforces the pathway through the building from east to west.