The Students' Building

The Students' Building: All Campus Dining Center

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
28,000 sq ft

This is a renovation of a renovation of a renovation of a 1913 McKim, Mead and White building, originally built to be a three story tall auditorium and dance hall for student social life. In the early 1970’s, in parallel with Vassar’s shift to co-education, the building was converted into a cafeteria dining hall, slicing the grand performance space into a 9’ tall kitchen/servery below and bakery above, with dining wings added on both sides. Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis’ renovation seeks to recapture the social mission of the building, by unifying the whole into an open dining hall with serveries distributed across the plan, ceiling heights opened up to 18’, and a new stair linking the two floors, located where the staircase was in the original McKim, Mead and White building. Very large custom tables, seating up to 20 students, produce a variable social landscape not limited to tables of 2, 4 or 6 people.

Project team: Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David Lewis; Michael Schissel, Project Manager; Jenny Hong, Corliss Ng, Jessie Peksa
Contractor: Vassar College
MEP FP: ME Engineers
Structural Engineer: Silman
Kitchen Consultant: Clevenger Frable LaVallee
Cafeteria Operator: Bon Appetit
Table Fabrication: Smartlam