To a stranger, the latest dining venue at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), “The Egg,” seems like nothing more than a dining hall. Upon closer look, The Egg is a dining experience unlike most others, offering students a place where they can relax outside of the classroom and push boundaries with new food ideas and concepts.
In the early stages of the design process, the leadership at the CIA wanted to create a dining space that not only offers a communal space for students to gather, but also creates additional cooking areas outside of the classroom. The building had to serve as a multi-purpose area, offering a friendly, comfortable space for the students to hang out.
The CIA worked with architectural firm Noelker and Hull Associates, Inc., to design a youthful space that functions as a dining hall, lounge and educational area. Additionally, the CIA aimed to take full advantage of its surrounding geography in Hyde Park, N.Y. “It was very important that the building took advantage of its views of the Hudson River,” said Mike Hull, AIA, president of Noelker and Hull Associates, Inc. “We knew that glass would be an essential part of our design in order to appropriately use the site.”
Paul Brunski, AIA, CCS, CSI, specification writer, selected YKK AP America’s YCW 750 OG curtain wall based on the firm’s past experience working with the manufacturer. “We were familiar with YKK AP’s products. We knew that it would be dependable, as we installed YKK AP’s products on several of our projects over the last 15 years,” said Brunski. “We can also always rely on the local representative for design assistance, which is a bonus.” The project also incorporated YKK AP’s Model 35D entrances and YES 45 FS storefront system.
The project was completed in May 2015, and the building opened to students on June 29, 2015. Planned to be used primarily at night, “The Egg” was designed to “glow with activity after dark,” using curtain wall to draw people to the building. To date, the feedback has been extremely positive, with students heavily using the space to grab a meal, hang out with friends and take an opportunity to develop new food concepts to test on diners.
Thrilled with the end result, the CIA leadership considers the building the “jewel box of the campus.” during the opening ceremony, the CIA unveiled an eight-foot egg sculpture symbolic of the importance of “The Egg” – both the building and ingredient – to the students’ futures.