With a dramatic sense of place, the new atrium link clarifies the dining hall's entry sequence and creates a central gathering area for students.
This Gothic Revival dining hall and campus commons has long been one of the Kenyon's iconic buildings. The addition (at right) contributes to a coehsive building image.
The historic spaces (the Great Hall pictured at left) and the new spaces (Thomas Hall pictured at right) work together as a unified center for student life.
Expansive windows in the new dining spaces offer near panoramic views of the surrounding campus.
The structure of the new atrium is cantilevered from the new addition to preserve the integrity of the historic facade.
Hearth Deck Pizza Oven Station — The open marketplace servery showcases food preparation, offering students a sensory connection with their meals.
Salad Station and Bakery Station
Mongolian Grille Station
Smaller dining rooms on the lower level are equipped with A/V technologies and are frequently used by student groups.
An expanded Peirce Pub offers dining options after traditional hours.
The outdoor terrace on the east facade features a sculpture by Paul Manship.
View of the atrium from the tower
Campus plan
Ground level plan
Lower level plan
Basement level plan
North–South Section - Food waste is collected in various locations and is transported to the pulper/extractor on the basement level.
Peirce Dining Hall, Kenyon College
Gambier, Ohio
This Gothic Revival dining hall and campus commons has long been one of the college’s iconic buildings. It is located in the heart of the historic part of campus, directly off Middle Path. Since its completion in 1929, the building evolved through a series of additions in the 1950s, 60s, and 80s. The college identified the need for a thorough renovation and expansion to stay abreast of changing needs in food service operations and campus life.

Preserving and restoring the original building’s architecturally significant features was a priority. The new addition follows the form of the original building, and is linked by a new glass atrium that creates a new circulation spine. To preserve the architectural integrity of the historic facade, the atrium’s structure is cantilevered from the new addition.

Within the Great Hall, historic light fixtures and wood paneling were cleaned and restored to their original condition. Fire protection, insulation, and air conditioning were seamlessly integrated into the finely detailed wood truss and beam ceiling. The new dining spaces offer a contemporary interpretation of the scale and character of the historic spaces, improving the overall cohesion of the building. While the Great Hall continues to be an inward-looking space, Thomas Hall is oriented to the landscape. Expansive windows offer near panoramic views of the surrounding campus.

Smaller dining rooms on the lower level provide views to an outdoor terrace, which features a sculpture by artist Paul Manship. These private dining rooms are regularly reserved by student groups and are fully equipped with A/V tools. An expanded pub on the lower level, in addition to the music room, computer lab and many other lounge spaces located within the building, encourages day-to-night dining, academic and social activities, and fosters campus community.

The major expansion of the kitchen and servery allowed for a significant increase in the existing local food program — about 40% of food purchases come from local sources. Twelve food stations replace the traditional cafeteria line, and promote greater choices and fresher food. Glass front refrigerators and refrigerated display cases showcase fresh ingredients, and the open servery showcases food preparation—offering students a visual and sensory connection with their meals. Recycling stations reinforce daily habits of recycling. Slurry lines transport food waste to the pulper on the basement level, which prepares food waste for composting.

New spaces were designed to complement the historic interiors. Oak paneling, bronze, and glass—materials used in the original building—were incorporated in the new interiors with more contemporary and simplified details. Relating to the historic stained glass of the original building, images of birds in flight were sandblasted into the glass ceiling of the atrium link and some of windows of Thomas Hall. Silhouettes trace along the floor and walls, following the sun pattern.




35,000 SF Renovation
34,000 SF New construction


AIA New England, Merit Award for Design Excellence
Society of College and University Planning, Architecture Awards, Merit Award


David Lamb
Greg Sailor