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HomeChildren's HealthDesigning College Cafeterias That Interact and Encourage

Designing College Cafeterias That Interact and Encourage


College cafeterias symbolize a key design alternative. The place else within the constructing do all college students spend a portion of each faculty day?

As a hub the place college students come collectively, faculty cafeterias may be elementary in serving to to construct a way of neighborhood. Moreover serving meals, cafeterias can fill quite a lot of different roles as nicely, corresponding to doubling as a “studying commons” the place college students collect to check or socialize—or reworking right into a banquet corridor for internet hosting dances and neighborhood occasions.

Reaching these desired outcomes depends on having an efficient design. With the suitable design, your faculty cafeteria can interact and encourage college students. Foster faculty pleasure and spirit. Prolong studying past the classroom. Even generate further income.

Listed here are six suggestions for designing faculty cafeterias that meet these objectives and extra.

Look to the locations college students like to hang around for inspiration.

Take into consideration the place college students prefer to spend their time after faculty: a espresso store, a café, a meals courtroom on the mall. What do these environments have in widespread? Other than providing a tasty snack or beverage, these locations additionally create a heat and welcoming environment, a vibe that claims: “Are available, sit down and calm down with your mates.”

College cafeterias can recreate that vibe with a purpose to draw college students in, to develop into locations the place college students wish to spend their time. As an alternative of replicating the drab, institutional feel and look of a conventional cafeteria, may you select vibrant colours and comfy, engaging furnishings that make the house extra interesting? Might you add self-service kiosks the place college students can get meals or drinks outdoors of regular breakfast or lunch hours? How a couple of cafe-style part with espresso and pastries?

By taking inspiration from the locations college students prefer to congregate, you possibly can flip your cafeteria into a contemporary hub the place college students join with one another—and with their faculty.

rendering of combined indoor and outdoor cafeteria design
Indoor/Outside Cafeteria Rendering created by College Specialty® Initiatives By Design®

Provide quite a lot of seating decisions.

Giving college students a number of seating choices makes your faculty cafeteria extra comfy and welcoming. It additionally makes the house really feel extra inclusive. Having a number of choices to select from, corresponding to conventional picnic tables in addition to cubicles and café-style seating, caters to completely different preferences and makes college students really feel extra welcome.

Ensure you provide seating choices that may accommodate completely different group sizes. You would possibly wish to embody bigger tables that may seat 10 to 12 folks, that are nicely suited to internet hosting features, in addition to tables or cubicles that may seat smaller, extra intimate teams of two to 4 college students—in order that college students can work together with their shut associates in a extra relaxed method.

Take into account providing quite a lot of heights as nicely. Taller bistro tables and stools give college students further choices for sitting comfortably and consuming/examine counters that run alongside the size of a wall or round a help column are additionally turning into common. College students can use these areas to arrange their laptops and eat whereas they work.

rendering of food court design
Meals Court docket Rendering created by College Specialty® Initiatives By Design®

Design with flexibility and flexibility in thoughts.

To get essentially the most worth out of your cafeteria, it ought to be a multi-use house that helps a number of actions. When meals aren’t being served, can it double as a examine heart, lounge space, or studying commons? Are you able to host neighborhood features in your cafeteria to lift extra income?

Take into consideration all of the methods you would possibly use the house, after which plan your design to accommodate these varied features. Utilizing modular tables that may be configured in some ways makes it easy to transform the house from one use to a different. Ensure that they’re on casters, to allow them to be moved round simply. When buying massive tables, think about fashions that may be folded up and saved.

flexible learning space with tables and stools and PE equipment
That is The Lab studying house at Dallas Hybrid Preparatory at Stephen J. Hay College in Dallas, Texas. It was designed to flex all through the day, from lunch to robotics, examine, and even PE.
Inside design and mission administration by College Specialty® Initiatives By Design® Dallas, Texas workforce.

Take note of motion and move.

To reinforce your cafeteria’s potential for constructing neighborhood, plan the house in a means that facilitates motion and social interplay. Ensure that there are clear walkways for college students and workers to flow into across the room; tables ought to be positioned with a minimum of three to 4 toes of clearance between them. Take into consideration the move of visitors as nicely and create sufficient house for lunch strains and meals service.

Take into account the know-how infrastructure.

To make your cafeteria useful for studying or finding out, think about how one can make electrical shops available for college students to plug of their digital units. As an illustration, you can embed shops within the ground, or select tables and bench seating with shops constructed into the furnishings. In the event you combine energy into the tabletops and seating, then college students gained’t journey on energy cords—and so they gained’t be restricted of their selection of the place to take a seat.

Rendering of cafeteria space design with power tower to power laptop
Cafeteria Area Rendering created by College Specialty® Initiatives By Design®

Take into consideration incorporating outside areas.

In case your cafeteria is accessible to the varsity grounds, take into consideration creating an outside courtyard or seating space. Analysis signifies there are clear academic and health-related advantages to spending time outdoors. As an illustration, respiration recent air can clear college students’ minds and assist them assume by growing the quantity of oxygen their brains obtain. Being outdoors can even cut back stress and enhance college students’ emotional well-being, and research have proven that kids with ADHD reply positively to spending time in pure settings.

When furnishing outside eating areas, use seating that’s safe, weather-resistant and designed particularly for outside use, corresponding to thermoplastic tables with connected benches that may’t be eliminated.

rendering of outdoor meeting and cafeteria space design
Outside Consuming and Assembly Area Rendering created by College Specialty® Initiatives By Design®

Good cafeteria design

With the suitable method, you possibly can create a contemporary faculty cafeteria that college students truly wish to spend time in, resulting in a stronger sense of neighborhood and extra alternatives for studying.

To learn the way the College Specialty Group may also help you design, furnish, and equip future-ready inviting cafeteria areas that serve a number of functions, please contact your College Specialty Consultant.

Learn Extra About Studying Areas

Dr. Sue Ann Highland

Dr. Sue Ann Highland

Sue Ann Highland, PhD, is the Nationwide Training Strategist for College Specialty. She has greater than 25 years of expertise as an educator, administrator, and guide with faculty techniques throughout the US, with broad experience in designing and creating extremely efficient studying environments.

Learn extra by Dr. Sue Ann Highland–>



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