2020 | UNC-CH Chase Dining Hall Renovation | Chapel Hill, NC

In the ten plus years since Chase Dining Hall reopened at Rams Head Plaza on South Campus, the space has been adapted several times. Dining space was reduced from two floors to one and a Starbucks replaced a venue on level one. The goals of this project are to add 150-200 seats to meet current demand and create a new dining destination for students living in the South Campus dorms.

To fulfill our client’s vision for an innovative, attractive student amenity, our team designed a 3,950-square-foot glass pavilion addition to include a new food service venue and flexible seating area. The glass building envelope maximizes visual transparency and preserves the sense of open space in a high traffic pedestrian corridor. The roof design features skylights to optimize daylighting in the dining area and a glass canopy to provide protection from solar glare and the elements.

Since the building is sited on the top level of an existing parking garage, there are only two existing columns under the plaza that we can use for support. Steel beams running east-west bear on a steel truss that sits on the two existing columns inside the building. The beams cantilever out 36 feet from the truss on the west side, and are attached to an existing beam on the east side. They are made of two W shapes welded together to maximize inertia and facilitate the lifting of material from the lay down area 30 feet below the plaza level, and they are designed to allow for mechanical ducts around the edges of the building.

The project scope also includes renovations to the 29,786-SF of existing interior space. Existing food service stations are receiving new equipment to better serve student needs and new finishes will match the pavilion and bring cohesion to the space.