Case Histories (Real-World Solutions)

A New Design for a Campus Hub

Johnson Commons West dining area

Johnson Commons West, a central meeting place on the University of Mississippi’s campus, was renovated to reflect the school’s spirit and aesthetic. Falcon seating played an important role in regard to comfort and style in the new dining space during the redesign.

As home to the University of Mississippi’s main campus dining location, student services, catering and dining administration offices — and with its more than 50-year presence — Johnson Commons West serves as a high-visibility, high-traffic facility. Recently completed renovations, including modernization and expansion of the 50,000-square-foot, two-story west wing, significantly enhanced the facility’s circulation paths, building operations and visual presence.

“A key directive was to seamlessly incorporate the design of the new space into the historic campus,” says Ashley Sullivan Hawthorne, NCIDQ, interior designer, Tipton Associates.

The university’s aesthetic, colors and signage are represented throughout the building. Contemporary components include skylights that bring natural light into the center of the building and white, translucent ceiling clouds, while columns from the original building became an interior feature that serves as a reminder of campus history.

Dining remains one of the primary services provided within Johnson Commons West and spaces on both floors were similarly refreshed as part of the renovation.

J11 series café tables from Falcon were selected for both floors. A customized edge was added to the tables in keeping with the design of the space, while the steel base provides durability necessary to accommodate large numbers of students.

“As we prepared to bring our design concepts to life, furniture was an essential element in supporting the overall aesthetic and providing a comfortable dining experience,” says Hawthorne.

The residential dining area includes seating for 800 with seating for 100 provided in the retail dining section. Falcon seating is featured throughout both floors, including Lucky chairs in the school’s colors on the first floor and R843 metal side chairs with dark walnut seat and coordinating barstools in the marketplace.

Renovation of Johnson Commons West received an IDEA Award of Recognition for Renovation/Historic Preservation from the IIDA Delta Regional Chapter.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .