Dining options are essential to a thriving campus as quality food draws people together and encourages conversation, social gathering, and relationship-building. Virginia Theological Seminary uses thoughtful design and arrangement of dining venues to invite students, faculty, and staff to linger, engage in conversation, and become part of the activity. They believe a sense of openness and visibility is key and hope to promote a sense of belonging and connectiveness among their users/patrons.

These programs can transform the environment into a lively campus with round-the-clock student presence and on-campus extracurricular and weekend activities – while all building an educational and cultural community. A variety of dining options enlivens a campus, from casual, ready-made “grab-and-go” to formal specially-prepared meals for events. Options that suit different personalities, eating needs, and payment options are all offered and ensure that dining is accessible to all on campus.

Dining options are essential to a thriving campus as quality food draws people together and encourages conversation, social gathering, and relationship-building. Virginia Theological Seminary uses thoughtful design and arrangement of dining venues to invite students, faculty, and staff to linger, engage in conversation, and become part of the activity. They believe a sense of openness and visibility is key and hope to promote a sense of belonging and connectiveness among their users/patrons.

These programs can transform the environment into a lively campus with round-the-clock student presence and on-campus extracurricular and weekend activities – while all building an educational and cultural community. A variety of dining options enlivens a campus, from casual, ready-made “grab-and-go” to formal specially-prepared meals for events. Options that suit different personalities, eating needs, and payment options are all offered and ensure that dining is accessible to all on campus.

VMDO worked collaboratively to study and help visualize the proposed transformation of the Refectory and Dining Services spaces — into a vibrant center for the Seminary Community. We built on existing thinking regarding dining operations and experience and sought help the leadership team push their vision forward. We accomplished this through a fundraising campaign that offered a phased approach to meet a Grand Opening in 2021 — in advance of the Seminary’s Bicentennial.

The team worked to synthesize ambitions into a Space Program with a focus on the refectory, kitchen and service areas, while addressing opportunities and impact on the 1823 Café, Scott Lounge, and potential enhancements to outdoor food + fellowship areas. This led to creative design options for the reuse of the historic structure.

VMDO worked collaboratively to study and help visualize the proposed transformation of the Refectory and Dining Services spaces — into a vibrant center for the Seminary Community. We built on existing thinking regarding dining operations and experience and sought help the leadership team push their vision forward. We accomplished this through a fundraising campaign that offered a phased approach to meet a Grand Opening in 2021 — in advance of the Seminary’s Bicentennial.

The team worked to synthesize ambitions into a Space Program with a focus on the refectory, kitchen and service areas, while addressing opportunities and impact on the 1823 Café, Scott Lounge, and potential enhancements to outdoor food + fellowship areas. This led to creative design options for the reuse of the historic structure.

Client: Virginia Theological Seminary

Location: Alexandria, VA

Discipline: Student Life, Dining

Completion: 2021

Size: 13,252 SF

Key Team Members

Filed in:

, Higher Education, Student Life, Residence Life