Located at the edge of the campus, the building is ringed by residence halls and overlooks a canyon. It’s key components—the dining hall, a convenience store, and a student lounge—had no physical connections between them, forcing students to access each through a series of exterior stairs.
The new Canyon Vista is an inclusive place that brings students together to share the kinds of experiences that make college an exciting time of life. Simple moves such as new signage, intuitive wayfinding, new transparent glazing, additional outdoor seating, and a clean white façade create a more welcoming destination.
Inside, we crafted an urban market vibe with distinct identities for each food venue, subway tile-wrapped columns, and special lighting elements. Seating areas are arranged to take advantage of the fantastic views to the canyon and to the larger community. A new stair brings together the previously disconnected components so that students can fulfill academic, social, and nourishment needs all in one place: find a quiet study space, meet up with friends for a meal break, or pick up a few items in the marketplace on the way back to their rooms.
Serving a Multicultural Population
One of the university’s top priorities for the project was to better serve its diverse student population by providing healthy, multicultural food options. This was particularly important for Warren College, which attracts a large number of international students to its engineering programs. In particular, UCSD worked with the Muslim Student Association to provide more fresh menu items that cater to their dietary needs. As a result, Canyon Vista Marketplace is now the nation’s largest Halal-Certified residential dining facility in the country.
A New Town Center
The facility is packed with student activity all day and into the night. The variety of seating options encourages students to come together to study or socialize. They can also choose from a variety of food venues and seating areas to suit their moods. There are large communal tables, heads-down focused study tables, secluded nooks, and popular built-in booths that are occupied all day long.
Food on View
The food hall and marketplace provides an element of ‘Food Theater’. It was important to the university to showcase and educate the student population on the ingredients used, where the food was sourced and how it is prepared. All of the food venues are entirely open, with the back of house kitchen turned inside out so that the preparation areas are on display and the cooking is in full view.