The dining halls in Dunster and Mather houses are slated for major renovations this summer. They are the last of the 12 House dining halls to undergo significant restructuring. Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) will begin renovations on June 13; the renovations are expected to conclude in late August, according to Robert Leandro, assistant director of residential dining.
“Although Dunster and Mather are the last of the 12 residential dining halls to be renovated, we are not looking at this as mission accomplished. Our mission is to serve the students, and we are constantly searching for new ways to do so,” HUDS Executive Director Ted Mayer said.
“I am very pleased that, working with House masters, House committees, students, and other members of the College, we will have two more beautiful, modern dining facilities on campus, offering students top quality meals and service,” said Harvard College Dean Benedict H. Gross, “I applaud University Dining Services for their hard work on these projects, and their efforts to listen to and address the needs of the Houses during dining hall reconstruction.”
The redesigned Dunster dining hall will feature islands that are approachable from all directions so that students may read the nutritional cards and create their favorite deli sandwich or salad bar masterpiece without holding up the person behind them. Overall, the revisions play off the existing architecture, invoking the sense of a kitchen in an old mansion.
Mather is the architectural antithesis of Dunster, with its modern construction materials of metal, glass, and concrete. These elements remain in the Mather renovation and the new design will integrate the outside light sources to a greater degree. The redesign moves the beverages from the hot food line to their own separate area. Functionality at Mather will be further improved by an addition, the first in eight years of renovations. Project Manager Jack Demelo, of Harvard Real Estate Services (HRES), has helped HUDS plan an expansion of the area above the Dunster loading dock to allow for a designated Mather dish room.
“A project of this magnitude requires collaboration and would not have been possible without the support provided by Harvard College and HRES,” Mayer said. He added that Shawmut Design and Construction provided preconstruction services, and Ricca Newmark Design and Prellwitz/Chilinski Associates Inc. designed the kitchens.