Food for thought.
Student wellbeing fostered through holistic planning and design.
Healthy food, healthier minds.
Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), a faith-based liberal arts college, wanted to revive its existing Nicholson Dining Commons to reflect an updated modern dining experience that would meet the needs of the campus for the next twenty years. They sought to provide a comfortable and attractive place to eat, study, collaborate, and build long lasting relationships. With limited options on and off campus for dining and meeting, the importance of providing this space for their 3,500 students was amplified. Some of the university’s objectives were to increase their seat count, expand outdoor usage, and improve their oversized and underutilized lounge area.
Nicholson Commons was designed upon the belief that the best conversations happen over food, and although dining is the main use of the space, the Commons also needed to provide a sense of community. Located centrally in the heart of campus, the Commons serve as a gathering space for all students, where they can share knowledge and experiences in a casual, inviting atmosphere. The new design fosters interactions and socializing in a setting outside the classroom, while also providing spaces for private reflection.
The design process started with the food menu and the concept of nurturing the body. The servery was designed around creating healthy food options that would result in healthier minds and holistic health. The result of this process was a truly inspiring community space that provides healthier menu options, more access to views and natural light, comfortable and flexible seating, and a more opening environment.