Curtis Frank Dining Hall

Colgate University : Hamilton, NY

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Colgate University : Hamilton, NY

The building is set on a scenic wooded campus among existing native stone buildings with gabled slate roofs. Located at the end of a major pedestrian axis, Curtis Frank Dining Hall evokes a hill town, with the roof of the main hall acting as a cathedral, and the dining rooms acting as components of a village. Most seating is along edges of paths defined by low walls and banquettes, providing privacy with a view of the surroundings.

Because Hamilton’s winters are typically snowy and grey, the interior spaces enliven the mood by collecting and diffusing natural light. The building acts as a natural light fixture, so artificial light is rarely needed during daylight hours. Anticipating heavy use of the dining hall, we used wood and masonry interior surfaces capable of developing a patina over time.