College cafeterias characterize 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 neighborhood. Moreover serving meals, cafeterias can fill a wide range of different roles as effectively, resembling 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.
Attaining these desired outcomes depends on having an efficient design. With the best 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 here are six suggestions for designing college cafeterias that meet these targets 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 courtroom on the mall. What do these environments have in frequent? Apart from 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 pals.”
College cafeterias can recreate that vibe with a purpose to draw college students in, to turn into locations the place college students wish to spend their time. As a substitute of replicating the drab, institutional feel and appear of a standard cafeteria, may you select vibrant colours and comfy, engaging furnishings that make the area extra interesting? Might you add self-service kiosks the place college students can get meals or drinks exterior of regular breakfast or lunch hours? How a few 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 college.
Supply a wide range of seating selections.
Giving college students a number of seating choices makes your college cafeteria extra snug and welcoming. It additionally makes the area really feel extra inclusive. Having a number of choices to select from, resembling 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 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 effectively fitted 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 associates in a extra relaxed method.
Think about providing a wide range of heights as effectively. 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 turning into widespread. College students can use these areas to arrange their laptops and eat whereas they work.
Design with flexibility and flexibility in thoughts.
To get essentially the most worth out of your cafeteria, it needs to 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 neighborhood capabilities in your cafeteria to boost 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 that they’re on casters, to allow them to be moved round simply. When buying giant tables, think about fashions that may be folded up and saved.
Take note of motion and movement.
To boost your cafeteria’s potential for constructing neighborhood, plan the area in a manner that facilitates motion and social interplay. Be sure that there are clear walkways for college kids and workers to flow into across the room; tables needs to be positioned with at the very least three to 4 ft of clearance between them. Take into consideration the movement of site visitors as effectively and create sufficient area for lunch traces and meals service.
Think about the expertise infrastructure.
To make your cafeteria practical for studying or finding out, think about how one can make electrical shops available for college kids to plug of their digital gadgets. As an example, you may 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 selection of the place to sit down.
Take into consideration incorporating out of doors areas.
In case your cafeteria is accessible to the college grounds, take into consideration creating an out of doors courtyard or seating space. Analysis signifies there are clear instructional and health-related advantages to spending time exterior. As an example, respiratory contemporary air can clear college students’ minds and assist them assume by rising the quantity of oxygen their brains obtain. Being exterior may also cut back stress and enhance college students’ emotional well-being, and research have proven that youngsters with ADHD reply positively to spending time in pure settings.
When furnishing out of doors eating areas, use seating that’s safe, weather-resistant and designed particularly for out of doors use, resembling thermoplastic tables with hooked up benches that may’t be eliminated.
Good cafeteria design
With the best method, you possibly can create a contemporary college cafeteria that college students really wish to spend time in, resulting in a stronger sense of neighborhood and extra alternatives for studying.
To find out how the College Specialty Workforce will help you design, furnish, and equip future-ready inviting cafeteria areas that serve a number of functions, please contact your College Specialty Consultant.
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Dr. Sue Ann Highland
Sue Ann Highland, PhD, is the Nationwide Schooling Strategist for College Specialty. She has greater than 25 years of expertise as an educator, administrator, and advisor with college programs throughout america, with broad experience in designing and creating extremely efficient studying environments.
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