Perkins Eastman designed a new 55,000 sf dining destination that serves as the focal point for uniting and reinvigorating the South Village neighborhood of the UNC Charlotte campus. The new South Village Dining Hall replaced the main cafeteria-style dining facility. Sited to the north of Davis Lake, above a steep, heavily wooded ravine, the facility is centrally located for the convenience of all residents. The site provides dramatic views of Davis Lake and of the naturalistic landscape within which it resides. Inspired by this unique site and an ambitious dining program, the new building serves as a dynamic gathering place to eat and socialize, as well as a transitional element linking together the major grade changes that separate the east and west sides of South Village. Located along major a pedestrian path, the design separates student pedestrian traffic from vehicular service traffic. A pedestrian bridge crosses the ravine and the design includes an array of outdoor assembly areas within the forested area.
The building was primarily designed to meet the needs of the resident dining program in a marketplace arrangement with more than a dozen unique venues, seating 735. The food program features a wide variety of cuisines prepared using exhibition-style cooking. Students, faculty, and staff experience fresh, locally-grown, organic, and diverse food concepts. Additional program space includes a neighborhood convenience store with fresh bakery, campus catering, a late-night dining option, and a take-out food pick up area for students on the run. These additional program spaces, with associated seating and neighborhood lounge areas for 175, have direct access to outdoor gathering and circulation areas.