Radical changes are common on college campuses, which is why when University of Miami in Coral Gables Florida, needed to update their food court after completing several renovations, we were stoked at the opportunity to work with them again. Renovating the 22,000 square foot 40’s era building was a cathartic exercise yielding powerful results.

Eight different food options, scattered throughout the space, alleviated the queuing issues Whitten’s tired in-line plan had been creating. Various stations, each with their own lines, allowed for a more open and modern feel while introducing fresh choices to the students. Get a quick meal at Outtakes grab-n-go, or customize your burger at Built, and the Tossed station can throw in some fresh greens while the Innovation Kitchen’s exhibition cooking and prep station provides new experiences every day.

Each station was given individual treatment and ample queuing space, but none more than campus favorites Subway and Panda Express. These two brands were placed prominently for easy menu viewing and breathing room. Working with each brand, branch operator and the UM staff, Nvironment was able to preserve UM integrity across all the operation requirements and brand design considerations. Seating areas were touched with neutral strokes to allow the pops of UM orange and various brand elements front stage. And, as students need abundant seating options, we provided soft seating, community tables, and regular and bar height furniture.

To take the sixty year old stuffiness out of the space, and truly pull Whitten to the modern era, we removed the dropped ceiling and exposed the folded plane roof architecture. Big-Ass fans was called upon to improve the air circulation while a new curtain wall provided more daylight the way the space was originally intended. On the outside, we integrated the canopy and walkway with the interior changes.

Project Details

  • Client:University of Miami
  • Location: Coral Gables, Florida
  • Year: 2012


To top off these radical renovations, offices were created for the university and Chartwells Internal Dining Services. As part of the services Nvironment provided, programming was done to create a seamless transition for each office while the work was being completed. Throughout the offices, UM standards of fun, bright teals, yellows, and oranges make for a uniquely Floridian feel.

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