After several years of a concentrated effort to expand its offices through multiple renovations and improvements, this financial institution experienced an exponential increase in its daily campus population. Built in the 1980s, the campus cafeteria could not keep up with the current food service demand. Our client sought to not only renovate the space into a state-of-the-art cafeteria for their employees but create an environment that would strengthen employee engagement and retention, helping to attract top talent to the company. The new space not only houses the new cafeteria but includes a media wall, conference rooms, huddle rooms for smaller gatherings, and multiple breakout spaces.
To help accommodate the needs of the large employee population, the new kitchen was designed to serve 1,600 meals per day. To support the increased workload of the kitchen, a new domestic hot water system was designed, and two new 450-gallon grease interceptors and duplex sewage ejector pumps were added. The kitchen has both back-of-house prep and cooling lines to support the ten front-of-house serving/finishing stations. Ten kitchen exhaust fans & two dishwasher exhaust fans serve these spaces. To accent the space, the team gave special attention to the lighting design. The McClure Engineering Lighting Team worked closely with the architect to design cove, perimeter, and accent lights that highlight the individual food stations and direct the movement through the kitchen to the pay station.
Specifically designed to support an active, collaborative work life, the café also boasts the capacity to host “town hall” meetings for up to 1,000 people. Consisting of multiple components beyond a servery, the cafe combines flexible seating with integrated media access and conference rooms, allowing employees, visitors, and guests to gather informally to eat, learn, and work in an engaging and sophisticated environment. Again, lighting played a big role in developing the space. A linear-led concept produces a soft glow across the double height ceiling that swoops down to a walkway connecting the kitchen to the café/media/gathering space, enhanced by downlights. Perimeter wall grazers combined with downlighting and decorative pendants are used to enhance the adjoining break out areas. The lights and shades in the open spaces are controlled to utilize natural daylight and eliminate glare.