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Dining Lab

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DobanArchitecture, Doban Architecture

Project Name

Dining Lab

Project Status

Concept Proposal


2,360 sq. feet

Construction Cost



Monroe College

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Project Description

Envisioned as a regional destination for culinary learning and dining, “Franklin & Main” is an integral part of the college’s School of Culinary Arts, and functions as a student-staffed restaurant as well as a laboratory for dining and hospitality. Once a bodega and more recently a small library, the facility includes a new, state-of-the art kitchen suite sized to accommodate a class of future chefs, and adjoins the adjacent award-winning Culinary Arts Center where food is stored and prepped. The entrance to the facility is off a courtyard on Main Street, which is envisioned as the gateway to an evolving “Culinary Courtyard.” The historical arch on Franklin is opened to let light enter the dining space. Regional fare is on the menu, and respect for local references and materials permeates the design of the dining room and even the façade. Locally-crafted wood paneling, as well as American-made porcelain tile and wall covering, bring unique character to the space. The decorative motif of Long Island ducks taken from a historical print relates to the nearby sound and its riches. The wall framing the kitchen pass-through is envisioned as a proscenium of sorts, decorated with a historical map of the area, showing its relationship to New York City, New Jersey, and the Bronx in particular—location of the college’s main campus.
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