The new South 40 House at Washington University, St. Louis, has changed the paradigm of campus dining. Old Wohl Center had been the main dining place for a half-century. The new facility has improved campuswide food production, increased campus traffic flow and improved student life.
The university wanted a food-service facility that would support a diverse student population. South 40 House offers a variety of food choices, including a traditional grill and deli, pasta station, in-house bakery, Mongolian grill, two tandoori ovens, a brick pizza oven, a kosher program (grab-n-go lunch, hot dinner), and Halal options, as well as vegan and vegetarian choices.
With close to 500 seats, South 40 House has a range of gathering spaces for groups from two to 300. With its open floor plan, intimate seating areas, sunlighted rooms and restaurant-like ambience, the building has become a premier gathering place. Colorful sofas and tables surround a stone fireplace. Students also may enjoy al fresco dining on the plaza.
In addition to comfortable spaces for dining and socializing, the building contains the food operations for all students living on the South 40 residential campus. With a goal of buying fresh, local produce, the cafeteria sources 20 to 25 percent of local food (mostly tomatoes and honey) by working directly with local vendors and Amish farmers. Strict standards are followed for food sustainability, including grass-fed beef, adherence to Monterey Bay Aquarium sustainable fish guidelines, certified cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free milk products.
The facility also boasts "Studio 40," a teaching kitchen where students can interact with chefs to increase their knowledge of nutrition information and food-preparation techniques.
Architect for the project is Mackey Mitchell Architects. (St. Louis)
Watch the video about the new dining facility at Washington University.