Montana State University – Rendezvous Dining Pavilion

  • area / size 50,000 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • Mosaic Architecture designed the Rendezvous Dining Room as the first step of a masterplan for Montana State University students in Bozeman, Montana.

    Project Description
    Montana State University’s new flagship Dining Pavilion is the ‘invitation’ for students, staff and community to campus from the north side. In keeping with the MSU Masterplan that will eventually see the replacement of the old student dorms at the campus edge, the new Dining Pavilion faces the MSU’s “North Mall” culminating in the gateway to campus. The new Dining Pavilion, serving the northeast residential area of campus as well as its academic core, offers an exciting new gathering place for student life.

    Program Requirements
    The Dining Pavilion provides seating for 700 in a $19.5 million, 50,000 SF building which includes a mezzanine and a basement with offices and support spaces. The building reflects MSU’s commitment to providing an outstanding dining experience to its rapidly growing student population, featuring eight serveries offering diverse fare including Mexican, Asian and Italian cuisines, comfort food, a European-style bakery, salads and sandwiches. Seating areas provide a variety of options from active and public to quiet and private, including a covered outdoor terrace on the mezzanine.

    Program requirements were developed through a collaborative process. Goals and priorities were identified by MSU staff leaders, the building committee and the architects during team workshops and a case study road trip. Students, staff and the public participated in charrette sessions, helping drive a user-focused solution.

    Sustainability Goals
    The building was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, in keeping with MSU’s dedication to sustainability. Strategies include passive solar design, with transpired solar collectors lining the south wall to preheat outside air. The roof was structured for future PV arrays, and LED lighting is used throughout.

    Design Solutions
    The animating idea of the design is that of the pavilion (hence the name!), with a sense of open sides under a wide, beckoning roof. Inflections in the building’s exterior respond to visual alignment of the Bridger Mountains to the northeast and historic Montana Hall to the south. Mezzanine seating, in particular, benefits from dramatic views to these landmarks. The building’s design character and materials reflect the preference expressed by students and staff for quality materials (wood, glass, steel, masonry) handled in a contemporary fashion. Weathered Corten panels provide a rustic counterpoint to the sweeping brick volumes and generous swaths of glass. An up-swept plank soffit emerges from the glazed mezzanine, providing a lantern-like glow to the surrounding campus.

    Within the Pavilion’s crisp, angular shell, the interior creates a sense of marketplace: serveries each have a distinct, colorful visual character suiting their cuisine and are arranged in an organic fashion while subtly managing the traffic flow. The dining experience is enhanced with many venues featuring food prepared in full view. A retail servery featuring coffee drinks and fresh baked goods is accessible both from within and outside of the main dining hall, allowing operation outside of the dining hall’s hours. In all, the New Dining Pavilion is a handsome, functional and vibrant addition to a proud campus. It opened in the Fall of 2018.

    ArchitectMosaic Architecture
    General ContractorLanglas and Associates
    Photography: Zachary Grosfield