PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS:
Randall Foster & Mike Kelly
Randy Le Blanc
WINNER: UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
ENTRY: COUCH RESTAURANTS
THE BIG IDEA: Couch is an excellent example of a renovation that turns an out-of-date college dining hall into one that meets modern student expectations. The $11 million project turned a venue students had described as “like a giant airport” into a multi-neighborhood marketplace brimming with modern food stations, diverse seating options, vibrant design touches and high-tech amenities (like a dozen LCD TVs for individual diners, another 10 free-hanging panel TVs and even a monstrous 261-inch custom projection screen).
The dining stations run the gamut from vegan/vegetarian to a smokehouse concept featuring on-site smoked ribs, brisket and rotisserie chicken along with burgers and chicken sandwiches.
Energy efficient appliances, energy-saving lighting, balanced ventilation and even multi-material ergonomic flooring are just some of the socially responsible design touches.
The result is a 44 percent bump in cash sales in the early going, as well as an increase in meal plan usage (see June 2010 FM).