Friends School of Baltimore Dining Hall

Educational, Sustainable

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The project fills a critical place in Friends School of Baltimore's masterplan: the end of a ‘village street’, the main axis of campus. The spot, occupied by a cafeteria from the 1980s, is now a destination at the scale of the campus, at the smaller scale it organizes the plaza in front of the building. The campus’ established formal language is casual Collegiate Gothic in stucco, stone, and earthtone brick. Tradition of invention and play within gothic architecture allows this contemporary update to include slot and strip windows, composed with control joints of the stucco. The building takes part in a conversation across time, enhancing the cultural environment by simultaneously respecting tradition and creating something new.

The program includes space for learning, gathering, dining, and exercise. The project integrates these activities into an attitude about architecture and overall wellness for the students, faculty, and the larger community. The program is arranged to facilitate connections between different groups. Students who come to eat lunch can socialize with others here for class or shopping, in a lobby that opens into an exercise room through a glass wall. An outdoor eating deck overlooks activity on the campus.

The building is a reconfigurable machine, with a tunable internal environment. The ceiling of the main room is a continuous active surface, fine tuning natural versus artificial light, and ambient versus projected sound. Artificial lights are never needed during school hours - 21 skylights wash the room with an even, glare-free daylight. The ceiling integrates multimedia in a deployed screen and projector and uses active and passive environmental strategies, with air delivery and high performance structural insulation.


Design Team: Steve Ziger; Hugh McCormick; Joseph Cellucci; Jonas Risén; Daniel Carter; Darragh Brady; Fred Scharmen

Team: Burdette Kohler Murphy - Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Engineer; Gower Thompson - Civil Engineer; Morabito Consultants - Structural Engineer

Owner: Friends School of Baltimore

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Construction Cost: $5,600,000

Area: 20,000 sf

Completion: 2009

Program: a 400-seat dining hall, kitchen, servery, wrestling gym, bookstore, fitness center

Photography: Alain Jaramillo

Sustainable Design

The Dining Hall renovation and addition is expected to achieve a LEED Silver Certification under the LEED for Schools, 2007 rating system. The new building occupies an existing building footprint, eliminating disturbance to the site. In addition, no new parking was constructed to support the new building. The building is within walking distance of all existing campus buildings as well as many public transportation options. Sustainable building features include numerous skylights and windows that provide even, glare-free daylighting. Artificial lights are not need in the main dining hall during daytime use. Low ambient noise levels were also achieved in the main dining hall space with integrated acoustic panels and diffusers. A 13.5% energy savings over baseline was achieved through daylighting, a high albedo white roof which mitigates solar gain, high efficiency dishwashing equipment, and high performance structural insulated panels. The building provides high levels of thermal comfort and indoor air quality, creating a healthy and comfortable environment. All landscaping uses native plants and no artificial irrigation is required.