McCarthy Dining Commons Showcased as Outstanding Design

The Framingham State University McCarthy Dining Commons expansion has been selected as part of the 2014 Educational Interiors Showcase, sponsored by American School & University magazine. The project, designed by SMMA, is one of only six Cafeterias/Food-Sevice Areas projects nationwide to win this honor, and only one of two undergraduate higher education projects to win. SMMA’s design approach was to achieve a large outcome out of a relatively small intervention—that is, taking advantage of the dining hall’s traditionally central role in campus life as a place of daily gatherings and special communal events. Specifically, the design attenuates and pulls back a subsidiary service volume and inflects its enclosure with an angled wall. Furthermore, it celebrates a new “jewel box” of the expanded dining hall by freeing this primary space of its “saddlebag” of services (toilet and storage rooms).