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College and university officials and their design teams are continually challenged to provide appropriate facilities, often on limited budgets. At Daytona Beach College (DBC), a generous donation from Mori Hosseini enabled the college to provide its students with a vibrant facility that has become a new campus icon.
The new $23 million Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality Management at DBC, which opened in fall 2007, houses three distinct programs—Hospitality and Tourism; Culinary; and the Southeast Museum of Photography—in one facility. Designed by Florida Architects Inc. (FLA), Orlando, the design harkens to a Mediterranean resort, a request from DBC's president.
"We were asked to create a first-class resort aesthetic with a Mediterranean feel," says Joseph Sorci, AIA, FLA's president and principal-in-charge. "The design departs from other campus facilities, which is appropriate given both its use and prominent location."
The two-story, 70,590-square-foot facility provides an efficient learning environment for students, faculty and staff. Sorci notes that meeting the state of Florida's requirements for education facilities was achieved through creative programming and aided by Hosseini's generosity.
"We have very definitive state requirements regarding space allocations and funding," explains Sorci. "By designing the grand lobby as a multi-function space, we were able to meet our mandates while also securing the necessary project funding from the state. This, coupled with Mr. Hosseini's donation, allowed us to create this signature building."
FLA's design introduces numerous details and materials in the grand lobby that are found throughout the building. Because the college houses three distinct functions, FLA's designers employed multiple elements to tie the areas together, including the use of materials and colors. The main connection—which is at times bold and at other times subtle—is the celebratory ribbon that appears in multiple ways, including flooring, artwork and metalwork. In fact, the ribbon and its resulting forms are the team's interpretation of a stylized camera shutter and ribbon of film—a reference to the Southeast Museum of Photography. (Note: FLA received an Honor Award from the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association for the project).
While the facility is luxurious, luxury was actually achieved very economically in some cases. For example, the balcony above the reception desk in the lobby looks like wrought iron but is aluminum—a more economical and sustainable material choice. The lobby's rich wood ceiling appears to be an old-fashioned tongue-and-grove design. Instead, FLA's designers cost effectively created this appearance by using wood slats with space between for acoustical material to facilitate sound absorption.
As mentioned, FLA creatively used the program to achieve the required square footage and funding. The grand lobby/ballroom opens onto a covered southern terrace for extra large gatherings. The room can host functions for 200 to 500 people with ample room for service requirements. A series of folding walls and partitions enables the staff and students to delineate the lobby/ballroom into varying areas to accommodate multiple uses simultaneously.
Because the facility is beautifully appointed, it's easy for visitors to forget that the paramount function of the building is to support hands-on learning objectives as well as provide space for traditional classroom instruction. Features in Café 101, the main dining area, a patisserie and coffee bar, the classrooms, the kitchens, and the museum all facilitate and encourage active and enthusiastic student participation.
"Hospitality management requires individuals to be experienced in many facets in addition to their own area of interest, such as a chef needing to understand the nuances of serving and creating the appropriate atmosphere for various gatherings," says Patricia Grafton, an interior designer for FLA. "Our design provides efficient flow from one area to the next in a framework that enables students to easily access the spaces relative to their chosen program."
Café 101, as an example, is used for teaching but is also open to the public. Reservations are required and can be hard to come by on many nights, according to Grafton. The café, which can seat from 75 to 150 for normal use, boasts a pizza oven with a faux stone surround and a coffered ceiling. Theatrical lighting, a television camera and its associated control room, and projection screens enable cooking demonstrations to be broadcast in real time or taped for delayed viewing.
The three kitchens-two teaching kitchens and a full prep kitchen-house the latest in stainless steel commercial equipment while also accommodating classroom learning. The white boards, projection screens and seating for 25 enable students in the teaching kitchens to move easily back and forth from hands-on work to presentations.
While used for multiple functions, learning in the museum component takes place mainly in the 89-seat theater, which is located off the grand lobby. The space is equipped with a 10-foot by 16-foot screen with HD detail projection capabilities. Floating acoustical panels and artwork featuring the ribbon theme accentuate the space.
FLA departed from the resort theme for its design of the Southeast Museum of Photography, which has three ground-floor galleries and five second-story galleries. Here, a loft-like feel with white walls in the exhibit areas and numerous major elements in black create a rich environment. The steel staircase that connects the museum's two floors is part of the sculpture of the space and features terrazzo treads, frosted-glass risers and a cable railing
system with a wood handrail. The seating below the staircase provides an informal gathering area for small presentations. The bamboo floor, stainless steel column covers, and stainless steel ceiling, which was painted black to "disappear into the space," combine to create an atmosphere that is perfect for displaying the museum's works.
While unseen by most visitors and even to students, the FLA team did not forget sustainability when it designed the facility. The clerestory windows in the lobby allow natural light to flow into the space to reduce lighting requirements during the daytime. Lighting in the museum gallery is provided from a continuous smart grid with energy efficient and long-lasting programmable and movable LED light fixtures. Shading on the building's south side, low-water use plumbing fixtures, as well as other design measures, contribute toward lowering energy usage and water consumption. The terrazzo and bamboo flooring as well as the recyclable carpet specified are also environmentally responsible product selections.
This beautifully appointed education facility has quickly become an important community resource according to both Sorci and Grafton. It is so popular that DBC officials have limited bookings for social gatherings to only one year out to ensure that the facility is not overbooked. FLA's efficient design and great attention to detail have given the college a facility that will successfully support its mission for many years while also providing a new and vibrant community resource.
Janet Wiens is a freelance writer based in Memphis, TN. She was formerly marketing manager for HNTB, and works with industry clients to address their marketing and public relations needs. She can be reached at
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Above: The grand lobby features an 8-foot-high cast stone fountain. The patisserie and coffee bar and a portion of the grand staircase are seen the background. (larger image)
Above: The back portion of the lobby/ballroom opens onto a patio terrace that is used for casual dining or to provide additional space for hosting large events. The furniture in the lobby is easy to move to facilitate event set up. (larger image)
Above: The museum’s design is more contemporary and has a loft-like ambiance. A steel staircase with terrazzo treads and glass risers provides access between the museum’s first and second floors. (larger image)
Below: The exposed ceiling above the museum’s exhibit area was painted black to “disappear” within the space. (larger image)
Above: The hotel suites, located on the second floor, feature two bedrooms, a dining/conference room and a residential style kitchen.(larger image)
Above & Below: Securing a reservation at Café 101, which seats 75 to 150, is often difficult given the restaurant’s popularity. The space is equipped to both broadcast and tape cooking demonstrations. (larger image of above) (larger image of below)
Above: The theater is used primarily by the Museum of Photography for presentations, and features a 10-foot by 16-foot screen equipped with HD digital projection capabilities. (larger image)
Above: Plan of the building. a. Lobby; b. Café; c. Museum; d. Gallery; e. Library; f. Reception/Shop; g. Theater/Lecture Hall; h. Multiflex- Banquet/Dining; i. Café 101; j. Demo/Broadcast Kitchen; k. Private Dining; l. Production Kitchen; m. Serving Line; n. Storage; o. Teaching Kitchens; p. Classroom; q. Classroom; r. Teaching Kitchen 1; s. Advanced Teaching Kitchen; t. Warewashing/Storage (larger image)
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Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality Management
Daytona Beach College
1200 International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
ARCHITECT AND INTERIOR DESIGNER
FLA/Florida Architects Inc.
8427 S. Park Cir., Ste. 150
Orlando, FL 32819
Joseph J. Sorci, AIA, designer, principal-in-charge
Mark Anderson, designer, principal, project architect
Patricia B. Grafton,
Raymond Soliven, 3-D,
Bradley James, Intern,
3-D, CADD production
Thomas McCord, QA/QC
ENGINEERING (MEP, STRUCTURAL AND FIRE PROTCTION)
Cape Design Engineering
Zev Cohen & Associates Inc.
Nodarse & Associates Inc.
Designs, Furnishings & Equipment Inc.
PPI Construction Management