SmithGroupJJR Western Michigan University Valley Dining Center

Driven to build smarter communities that complement and enhance living conditions on the campus, the University has designed a new campus dining facility that provides more efficient campus operations by consolidating three separate dining centers into a new, energy efficient, state-of-the-art facility. The design team was tasked with creating an iconic dining venue that is now used as a recruitment tool for new students and a valuable amenity for the community; as well as designing a site that enhances pedestrian activity and safety, while respecting the ecologically-sensitive landscape.

The project brings a strong connection to the natural environment surrounding it. With expansive views, connections to the campus and views of the natural environment, the facility is wedged within a natural setting. The Dining Center creates a major student activity node and destination, shifting the center of activity closer to the North Neighborhood.