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Upper Commons Dining

Roger Williams University | Bristol, RI
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Project Details

The Upper Commons is Roger Williams University’s largest dining hall on the Bristol, Rhode Island, campus. Roger Williams hired BKP to provide a renovation of the space, which was last updated in 2005. A dated aesthetic and high congestion were two challenges to be overcome. The project reflects a repeat collaboration with Bon Appetit Management Company, the university’s food service provider.

BKP began by reconfiguring the student flow to avoid congestion. Increased food offerings are spread out more to draw students away from the most congested areas. A cook-your-own station will be a highlight of the renovated dining venue, featuring eight dedicated burners on which students can prepare omelets, stir-fries, and other customized meals. A new concept for Roger Williams students, the station will double as a specialty demonstration area that can be used to host outside chefs or special dining programs. The Oasis dedicated made-without-allergens station will be another new addition. All food will be prepared, cooked, and served from this isolated station without use of the eight most common allergens – peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, eggs, milk, and wheat. An allergen-conscious pantry will be located alongside the food station, from which students can select gluten-free bread, nut-free butter, and other grab-and-go options for flexible meal prep. The new options will give students the power to create their own meals while minimizing allergen risk. In addition to the reconfiguration, BKP updated the aesthetics with a vibrant, fun color palette, new flooring, and all new finishes and fixtures. The project will be completed in summer 2025 in time for the fall semester.

  • Client

    Roger Williams University

  • Cost

    $3 million

  • Size

    8,000 square feet

Images © BKP Architects