College cafeterias symbolize a key design alternative. The place else within the constructing do all college students spend a portion of each college day?
As a hub the place college students come collectively, college cafeterias might be basic in serving to to construct a way of group. Moreover serving meals, cafeterias can fill a wide range of different roles as properly, comparable to doubling as a “studying commons” the place college students collect to review or socialize—or reworking right into a banquet corridor for internet hosting dances and group occasions.
Attaining these desired outcomes depends on having an efficient design. With the precise design, your college cafeteria can interact and encourage college students. Foster college satisfaction and spirit. Lengthen studying past the classroom. Even generate extra income.
Listed below are six suggestions for designing college 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 college: a espresso store, a café, a meals court docket on the mall. What do these environments have in widespread? Apart from providing a tasty snack or beverage, these locations additionally create a heat and welcoming environment, a vibe that claims: “Are available in, sit down and calm down with your pals.”
College cafeterias can recreate that vibe so as to draw college students in, to change into locations the place college students wish to spend their time. As a substitute of replicating the drab, institutional feel and appear of a conventional cafeteria, may you select vibrant colours and cozy, engaging furnishings that make the area extra interesting? May 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’ll be able to flip your cafeteria into a contemporary hub the place college students join with one another—and with their college.
Supply a wide range of seating decisions.
Giving college students a number of seating choices makes your college cafeteria extra comfy and alluring. It additionally makes the area really feel extra inclusive. Having a number of choices to select from, comparable 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.
Be sure you supply 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 properly suited to internet hosting capabilities, 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 mates in a extra relaxed method.
Take into account providing a wide range of heights as properly. Taller bistro tables and stools give college students extra choices for sitting comfortably and consuming/research counters that run alongside the size of a wall or round a assist column are additionally changing into standard. College students can use these areas to arrange their laptops and eat whereas they work.
Design with flexibility and flexibility in thoughts.
To get probably the most worth out of your cafeteria, it must be a multi-use area that helps a number of actions. When meals aren’t being served, can it double as a research heart, lounge space, or studying commons? Are you able to host group capabilities in your cafeteria to lift extra income?
Take into consideration all of the methods you would possibly use the area, after which plan your design to accommodate these numerous capabilities. Utilizing modular tables that may be configured in some ways makes it easy to transform the area from one use to a different. Be sure they’re on casters, to allow them to be moved round simply. When buying massive tables, contemplate fashions that may be folded up and saved.
Take note of motion and circulation.
To boost your cafeteria’s potential for constructing group, plan the area in a manner that facilitates motion and social interplay. Be sure there are clear walkways for college kids and employees to flow into across the room; tables must be positioned with no less than three to 4 ft of clearance between them. Take into consideration the circulation of visitors as properly and create sufficient area for lunch strains and meals service.
Take into account the expertise infrastructure.
To make your cafeteria useful for studying or learning, contemplate how one can make electrical shops available for college kids 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. If you happen to combine energy into the tabletops and seating, then college students received’t journey on energy cords—they usually received’t be restricted of their alternative of the place to sit down.
Take into consideration incorporating outside areas.
In case your cafeteria is accessible to the college 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, respiratory contemporary air can clear college students’ minds and assist them suppose by rising the quantity of oxygen their brains obtain. Being outdoors also can 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, comparable to thermoplastic tables with hooked up benches that may’t be eliminated.
Sensible cafeteria design
With the precise method, you’ll be able to create a contemporary college cafeteria that college students really wish to spend time in, resulting in a stronger sense of group and extra alternatives for studying.
To find out how the College Specialty Staff will help you design, furnish, and equip future-ready inviting cafeteria areas that serve a number of functions, please contact your College Specialty Consultant.
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 college programs throughout the USA, with broad experience in designing and creating extremely efficient studying environments.
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