Construction Zone: Modern eatery

June 1, 2008
The University of Rhode Island (URI), Kingston

The University of Rhode Island (URI), Kingston, recently opened the Hope Commons Dining Hall, an $18 million, 42,500-square-foot facility featuring a 718-seat dining hall, late-night cafe and retail market. The facility is the first new dining hall on campus in 45 years and replaces the original Hope Dining Hall built in 1957.

The dining hall enables customers to see food being prepared at four strategically placed food venues, each with their own identity and theme. It has an open-market, restaurant feel with a variety of seating options, including booths and bar counters. A 50-seat, private dining room with exterior views to the campus is situated in the northeast corner. Two interior walls of the room are made of sliding doors, allowing it to be opened to the main dining hall for overflow seating.

Rhody Market, the late-night cafe on the second level, offers coffee, pizza, smoothies and frozen treats. Its seating area features three window walls; as well as a four-side fireplace; soft, lounge-style seating; game tables; and four flatscreen televisions.

At ground level, under Rhody Market, is the Rhody Mini Mart, which stocks convenience items, snacks and quick grab-and-go foods for faculty, staff, students and visitors.

The architect, Vision 3 Architects (Providence, R.I.), is seeking silver LEED certification for the project.

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