Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, University of Toronto’s (U of T) Food and Ancillary Services wished to realise 5 unique, proprietary food concepts on campus. Three food concepts are located at the Medical Science Building at 1 King’s College Circle while the other two are located at Sid Smith Hall on George Street. As students define their food preferences in the first week of school, it was paramount that the 5 food service locations be delivered and operational on time prior to the fall semester in September, 2015. dpai architecture inc. was charged with providing a full scope of architectural services for Stone Oven Pizza– a pizzeria inspired by simple, fresh ingredients; Soup!– a soup bar inspired by Andy Warhol’s pop art; Not Just Greens, a salad bar designed to showcase the importance of local, organic greens and ingredients in the everyday nutrition.
All food concepts give students the autonomy to build their meals to their own tastes and dietary restrictions. The design for Tortillas juxtaposes authentic southwestern culture and industry. Gourmet Burger House at Sid Smith Hall is inspired by the hot gourmet food truck trend popping up in many cities today. dpai successfully worked within tight timelines and budget working with U of T Food Services to incorporate new food service equipment. dpai paid attention to every detail to ensure the spaces for all food concepts reinforced the client’s food concept vision. Elements of note include custom pop art boxes, bicycle taxidermy artwork, custom industrial lighting, and stunning custom designed steel, live edge and acrylic panel service counters.
The service counters were designed and built to last; the live edge wood, and undulating butcher block counter wrap at the pizzeria serve to lend warmth to the space, and unify all 5 food concepts. This renovation raised the bar for design for food services on campus, and set a new standard for food service counter design for future projects on campus. Stone Oven Pizza is currently out performing its major chain counterpart on campus, and all food concepts points have been showing major gains in sales.