Campus News

Design meets vision inside One World Café

Full-color rendering of the southern view of One World Cafe.

A view of the main entrance of One World Café on Founder’s Plaza. Image courtesy of CannonDesign


Published February 18, 2019

“This will be much more than a place to eat. ”
Graham Hammill, vice provost for educational affairs and dean of the graduate school

The university’s much-anticipated signature addition will offer the campus community authentic internationally themed food choices in a multicultural environment, while also engaging the broader goals of UB’s Heart of the Campus initiative.

“As One World Café has moved forward, UB’s project managers and CannonDesign team members, working together, have focused on design that meets the project’s unique vision,” says Graham Hammill, vice provost for educational affairs and dean of the graduate school.

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, says Hammill, chair of the steering committee for the project.

“A first-floor, 500-seat dining area will offer visitors a central hearth and a new connection to the Spine,” he says.

Northern view of One World Cafe.

The north side of One World Café just off Putnam Way near Hamilton Loop. Image courtesy of CannonDesign

Southern View of One World Cafe.

The main entrance to One World Café on Founders Plaza. Image courtesy of CannonDesign

“In addition, there will be a new, enclosed staircase just off Hamilton Loop, going up three levels and offering a grand entrance. Visitors will find a tiered seating area on the second floor, with 75 seats overlooking the atrium of the first floor, main dining area.

“A different concept from a food court, where visitors usually eat and leave, One World Café will include spaces for students to study and to engage with one another and with faculty in a relaxed, communal environment,” Hammill says. “The vision has greatly benefited from the voices of campus stakeholders, including students. This will be much more than a place to eat.”

As the third phase of the Heart of the Campus initiative (HOTC 3), One World Café is also intended to engage the broader goals of HOTC: transforming teaching, learning and studying, as well as delivery of student services at UB.

Ron Van Splunder, senior architect and manager of architectural support at UB, says a new, second-floor entrance from Silverman Library to One World Café, planned as an improvement as part of HOTC 3, will provide visitors with access from the library’s elevator core, as well as the administrative elevators.

“Additionally, within One World Café there will be a brand-new elevator to take people from the first floor to the second floor. It will be fully compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design,” Van Splunder says.

With its central, high-traffic location, One World Café is also designed to address student desires for improved campus wayfinding, he adds.

Colored rendering of northern view of One World Cafe.

One World Café’s glass-enclosed staircase, built into Capen Hall just off Hamilton Loop, rises three levels and offers visitors a convenient entrance from the project’s North side. Image courtesy of CannonDesign

Pre-construction work may begin later this year

On Feb. 14, UB project leaders and project designers from CannonDesign reviewed every aspect of design and construction plans for the landmark project — from architectural elements; to electrical, heating and plumbing; to sustainability factors; and life-safety flight (emergency) egress.

“These meetings marked the start of the final construction-document phase of the project,” Van Splunder explains.

The reviewers included all UB participants in the project, among them Facilities Management; Faculty Student Association; Environment, Health and Safety; UB’s fire marshal; building code officials; University Police; and a number of others: “Everybody who keeps the campus running and safe,” he says.

Van Splunder says results of the reviews will be used by the CannonDesign team to create the final construction documents.

“When completed, these documents will literally serve as the blueprints for contractors to begin construction of the building,” he says. “We expect construction staging to start by the end of summer, or perhaps early fall.”  

Authenticity, advanced checkout technology

Noting the increasingly diverse tastes of the UB community, Jeff Brady, executive director of Campus Dining and Shops (CDS), says advanced design of One World Café’s food platforms will enable CDS to respond to changes in culinary tastes among UB community members and plan for the future.

“When students, faculty and staff enter One World Café on Level 1, they will find five food platforms — or stations — offering them multiple choices for authentic internationally themed meals,” says Brady.

“There will be an Indian station, with a chef preparing Tandoori chicken on a grill — along with many other Indian dishes — visible through a glass wall along a new corridor connecting Capen and Norton halls.

“A North American station will also be located in this area, along with a Mediterranean station and an Asian station, serving Chinese, Thai, Burmese and Korean foods. We will also offer a Japanese station with a noodle bar,” he says.

“Several of the stations are going to be built for flexibility. The Mediterranean station is being built to work for several platforms. The Indian station will also have some flex capability.”

Eric Blackledge, one of CDS’ assistant directors, notes that customers who choose the Mediterranean or Asian platforms in particular will have the option to “make it their own.”

“They can choose a bowl, a wrap, or a pita, for example, at one of the ‘serve yourself’ bars at those stations. Or they can try the chef’s recommendations for that day,” Blackledge says.

Students will find paying for their meal will be a breeze, Brady says, with iPad-based selections and payment made with their smartphones.

“The technology will confirm that you paid,” he says. “Cash will also be accepted. If you choose from a selection of salads, wraps, pitas and prepared meals from the ‘Grab-and-Go’ bar, you’ll be in and out in time to catch the bus outside of One World Café or walk to a class.”

Visually, each of the platforms will be designed with decorative materials to highlight each specific region.

“Design is the next step for us in creating the right environment,” Blackledge says. “We want the fit and finish to be authentic.”

Additionally, Brady and Blackledge say they are working on adding a significant sustainability component to the operation in One World Café.

“Making greater use of recycling is a goal for CDS,” Brady says. “For One World Café, we would like to build a streamlined system, where all containers are recyclable. We are looking at the possibility of going with compostable knives, spoons and forks, which are now used at UB Stadium. Or going strawless with our drinks.”

Additional information on One World Café may be found on the UB 2020 website.


Woah! It sounds like a really amazing plan. I am super excited for this. I was just wondering when will the construction get over and when will it start?

Aneri Patel