Center Table at UW North Campus

© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman
Graham Baba Architects

As part of an ambitious plan to reinvigorate the University of Washington’s North Campus and rebuild their student life infrastructure, Center Table was envisioned as a central dining hub for five new and several existing student residence halls. Campus planners and the university’s residential life team wanted to provide not only a chef-driven food service venue, but also a place of social gathering and student life programming for the diverse population of the precinct.

Nestled within newly curated outdoor spaces in a backdrop of old growth trees, the Center Table dining facility has become a North Campus hub that allows for the connection of students through a true merging of living, learning, and recreation. In designing dining, open food preparation, and crafted recreational spaces, the team sought to create a meaningful central destination that supports the new residence halls and campus-wide student life. The space is part of a complex multi-building construction project on a state-sponsored university campus. As such, contracting required competitive bidding of sub-trades and extensive design documentation. Design details and furnishing and finishing specifications were required to meet stringent university standards, yet still provide a level of thoughtfulness and finesse appropriate for a world-class research institution. The 31,000-square-foot facility and three building construction site of which it was part required significant design and construction coordination. Six individually branded food “platforms” form the anchoring core of the food hall, and provide students with a full range of menu options and dining experiences. Interspersed within these platforms are an array of social and seating areas which feature a palette composed of varying materiality texture, plentiful seating typologies, colorful graphic murals, and tall, view-framing windows. By creating a space that offers a range of dining experiences and that fosters a mixture of social interactions, Center Table has become a crucial part of the North Campus which sustains the student body both dietarily and socially.

Graham Baba Architects team
Jim Graham, Principal-in-charge
Brian Jonas, Associate Principal, Project Manager, LEED AP BD+C
Francesco Borghesi, Principal, Lead Designer
Crystal Loya, Project Architect
Maki Schmidt, Architectural Team Member
Liz Kee, Architectural Team Member

Project team
Client: University of Washington Housing & Food Services
Spectrum Development Solutions: Development Consultant
Graham Baba Architects: Architects, Interior Designers
KieranTimberlake: Shell and Core Architects
Olin: Landscape Architect
Fisher Marantz Stone, Inc.: Lighting Designers
Rushing: MEP/Fire Protection
Stafford Design Group: Foodservice
A3: Acoustics
Coughlin Porter Lundeen: Structural Engineering
O’Brien and Company: LEED Consultant
KPFF: Civil/Telecommunications
Travis, Fitzmaurice & Associates: Telecom/AV
T.A. Kinsman Consulting Company: Code Consultant
Wilson Consulting Inc.: Specifications

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Other Projects by Graham Baba Architects

Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Headquarters
Deep Dive
The Hangar at Kenmore Town Square
Understory at The Spheres
Lakeside Residence