Monroe College Culinary Arts Center
Close cooperation among college, architect, engineers, CM and food service consultant enabled the team to meet the ambitious goal of completing the facility from design through construction in less than five months. Includes (4) complete kitchens with state-of-the-art equipment. The project team’s hands-on approach involved frequent team meetings on-site from the start, and early selection and ordering of specialized equipment with long lead times.
The Center’s open-plan layout responds to the faculty’s vision of a flexible learning space with the concurrent uses typical in a large commercial kitchen, and includes a banquet battery, one pastry battery, and two a la carte kitchen areas organized around a service spine. Unlike a typical commercial kitchen, the space was designed for visual transparency, in keeping with the college’s commitment to creating a culinary education showcase. The vestibule functions as an observation point for kitchen activities. Its angled portal into the pastry area follows the slope of the dramatic ceiling within, which conceals ductwork while enabling natural light to permeate the space from the building’s high windows. The glazed windows with sunshades for integral climate control, provide a view of student chefs from the adjoining courtyard, a major campus gathering space.
Holt understands that higher education projects require a specialized level of knowledge and often include the integration of complex renovation within occupied environments. Holt works collaboratively with the owner and architect in developing detailed plans that allow faculty and the student body to learn, grown and go home safely every day.