2015 Design Award

Sabai Dining, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
Merit Award


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Architect:  International Architects Atelier
General Contractor:  K&S Associates
Photographer:  Farshid Assassi

As part of the renovation of a mid-century residence hall, the University of Missouri also wanted to incorporate a market relevant, and unique dining destination.  At Sabai Dining, the guest experience matters, and thus differentiates the new restaurant-style eatery from others on campus.  The vision for Sabai was a South Asian-inspired hangout more reminiscent of a neighborhood bistro or café, rather than a university dining hall.


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Dining room seating takes advantage of the vistas to the green spaces surrounding the complex and to natural light.  Dining areas offer variety in both seating and table choices, and can accommodate 150-200 guests.  The ease at which students can manipulate dining room layouts will hopefully encourage large groups to gather and socialize, fostering community building.

Seating, color selection and lighting in this area reinforce the South eastern Asian theme and cuisine, but in a contemporary, hip, and subtle aesthetic.  This space is designed to draw people together in a destination for dining, conversation and relaxation.  Colors and materials were selected both for their visual appeal and durability.


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A demonstration kitchen supports product testing, staff training and student presentations.  While preparing and testing recipes, the chef faces the audience, either seated in chairs around the chef’s demo area or at lab tables.  This feature further cultivates the engaging and experiential character defining Sabai Dining, which is about much more than a quick bite to eat.

This project is pursuing LEED Gold certification.


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