Published April 22, 2019
On Thursday in Silverman Library, students were offered an opportunity to view renderings not yet seen by the university community of the inside of One World Café, UB’s much-anticipated signature addition.
They also had an opportunity to talk to project designers about what will be a unique space, unlike anything else on the North Campus.
Offering authentic internationally-themed food choices in a multicultural environment, One World Café will also engage the broader goals of UB’s Heart of the Campus initiative, seeking to serve the diverse UB community and support the university’s larger mission.
As One World Café begins moving through summer preparations for the start of construction, members of the project’s steering committee wanted to ask students: How do you see yourself using this space?
“What I like is the architecture,” second-year student Margaret Lowe said following one of four slide show presentations in Silverman Library by two members of the CannonDesign project team. “It is so open, with lots of windows and light. The colors are clean and inviting and appeal to everybody’s eye.”
“Yes, definitely,” said Vicky Zheng, a PhD student. “It is not bricked in and I love that.
“I also think with the size of the dining area, it will help with the peak rush period. I like the idea of using all of the fresh ingredients and offering a greater selection of seasonal choices. This will be great for UB.”
During the event, students and other visitors enjoyed samples of two potential menu items for One World Café: a Mediterranean entrée, Chicken with preserved Lemons & Couscous, and an Indian entrée, Dal Tadka & Basmati Rice.
“From this project’s inception, we have continually sought out the benefit of a broad sampling of ideas and suggestions from our campus stakeholders, including students,” says Graham Hammill, vice provost for educational affairs and dean of the Graduate School. “One World Café is designed to be much more than a place to eat.”
“With the start of construction for this project only a few months away, we are keeping the UB community’s point-of-view foremost,” added Hammill, who chairs the steering committee.
Ike Lowry, a CannonDesign associate vice president and a 2001 graduate of UB’s School of Architecture and Planning, told student audiences gathered for the slide shows, “We know students today care where the ingredients in their food come from and how it is made. One World Café will offer authentic foods, freshly prepared, and students can watch as their meal comes together for them.”
“It is nice to offer students more options,” said Sasha Shapiro, a third-year student. “It will be especially so for students who are vegetarians.”
Emile Seraphin, a second-year student, said, “I like the idea that everyone can study there and get a good meal without leaving Capen. Right now there are not a lot of options to do that.”
“I think One World Café will be really great for UB students,” said Marnie Mancuso, facilities planning and management officer in University Libraries, after listening to the CannonDesign presentations.
“I think, especially, for a research institution,” she said. “It will help students who are so focused on studying and labs to have a place they can go, where they can see other students, study, or just take a break and be with people, in-person. The message I am hearing about One World Café is that you won’t feel you have to eat there to be there. It will be a touchstone for the campus.”
During the presentations, students submitted a wide range of ideas for One World Café, including cooking classes; international nights; a game night; live music; performances by UB dance teams; and an outdoor farmers’ market.
Luke Johnson, CannonDesign lead designer, and also a graduate of UB’s School of Architecture and Planning, told students that improved directional guidance through the North Campus will also result from the construction of One World Café.
“This will do a lot to improve wayfinding around the North Campus,” Johnson said.
“As a UB alum, I know it can be challenging navigating your way through the center of the campus on those really cold winter days. You’ll be able to travel The Spine inside once all of this is finished.”
“Getting up and down The Spine, while staying inside, will be very good,” said first-year student Joshua Hulbert. “I also like the idea of actually having a branded space on campus, offering great new food and lots of space to meet people.”
One World Cafe’s central location, under the overhangs of Capen Hall and Founders Plaza, between Capen and Norton Halls, means it will be built to serve the high traffic that is found there.
As with any major construction project taking place within a built environment, this also means a significant amount of disruption for members of the UB community.
“The construction of One World Café will affect everyone on the North Campus,” says Hammill.
“While there is no way around this, members of the steering committee, together with Rhonda Ransom, UB Facilities’ Design and Construction project manager, and our construction manager, Turner Construction, will be doing everything we can to communicate what will be happening, when and where, to those who will be directly affected,” Hamill says.
“Town hall meetings for all affected groups will begin by the end of the spring semester,” says Ransom. “We are in the process of compiling a comprehensive list of stakeholder representatives, so we will be in touch with those of you who are located in Norton and ground, first and second floor Capen Hall.
“Faculty and staff are our key audiences right now,” she says. “Our goal is to address areas that will be immediately impacted this summer.”
By late summer, communications will begin with new and returning students regarding areas to be affected by construction, according to Ransom. These will start in July, with orientation groups.
Ransom says additional communication outreach efforts will include:
Town halls held in late April and early May captured live on video (possibly through Web-X ), and posted to the Heart of the Campus (HOTC) website for anyone unable to attend.
UBNow articles will be published with information regarding construction. This information will be made available on the HOTC website. Employee listserv messages will also carry construction information. An effort will be made to seek publication of this information in The Spectrum, as well.
“In addition, we are planning to make use of signage and messaging on the construction barriers and fencing, for wayfinding through the campus,” says Ransom.
“The goal for this technique is for Admissions tour guides to make use of these signs and images as stopping points, to convey information about One World Café to new students and families.
“We are seeking information about any groups that will be impacted — short term — by construction barriers that will be going up in June,” Ransom says.
“We are reaching out to entities that need to be aware of immediate project impact, as well.”
Information of this type should be directed to University Facilities Customer Service at email@example.com.
UB needs to add West Indian cuisine to its menu. Being that so many students with West Indian backgrounds come from New York City or Long Island, it would make sense to offer foods with background and flavor from those countries. Jamaican and Guyanese cuisine should be prioritized.
The new cafe that is being constructed would be a great spot to offer that type of flavor for the student body.