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Press Kit
| no: 1866-01
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Press kit - Press release - Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects

Durham College Centre for Food

Whitby, Canada

Gow Hastings Architects

From "Field to Fork"


Toronto, Canada, 2015-10-16 - The Centre for Food (CFF) at Durham College (DC) distinguishes itself in the highly competitive field of culinary education by bringing together culinary, hospitality, event management, food science, and agricultural and horticultural programs in a state-of-the-art facility for “field-to-fork” culinary education. 
 

The new 34,000-square-foot facility anchors DC’s developing Whitby campus. As the Greater Toronto Area expanded east, this former heritage agricultural area located an hour east of Toronto along the busy Highway 401 has rapidly industrialized. Strip malls and fast food outlets have dominated the surroundings for many years. The Centre for Food leads a resurgence to its agro roots with an agrarian campus that preserves the rural quality of the transforming landscape. Acknowledging the need to harmonize the natural and built environment, the CFF provides students with a hands-on experience completing the full cycle of production from farming to preparing, serving and celebrating food.


Students and visitors enter the building from the parking lot, passing the centrally located food storage and distribution room, a space traditionally confined to back of house. A hallway with a mock hotel suite leads to an atrium with a two-storey living wall for the cultivation of herbs. Steel and glass foldable partitions allow the adjacent wine tasting lab and bake lab to open up onto the atrium expanding the venue for events and celebrations. Downstairs, a 150-seat lecture and demonstration theatre, change rooms and faculty offices branch off a naturally lit hallway with tables for students to relax.

Upstairs, interior windows provide glimpses into the teaching labs, encouraging exploration and establishing a dynamic energy within the building. Marble, Corian, stainless steel and ceramic tile reduce visual clutter, maintain sanitation and enhance function. In the culinary labs, the workstations are on casters, a first-of-its-kind approach to increase flexibility, allowing instructors to easily rearrange the rooms. In contrast to the clinical nature of most culinary institutions, warm woods, soft stones and natural colours create an inviting and open atmosphere.

The sequence of spaces culminates on the second floor with Bistro ’67, a soaring 70-seat, full-service, green-certified, teaching-inspired restaurant open to the public and featuring expansive views of the campus. Highly visible to passing commuters, Bistro ‘67 attracts the public to visit and learn more about the Centre for Food. Students learn to prepare fresh, seasonal dishes from a menu that celebrates Durham’s local produce and fresh flavours. Real-time video monitors enable diners to see their food being prepared while staff and students can observe how it is received, gaining practical hospitality experience. LEDs sparkle within oversized bamboo pendant lights.

The design both aesthetically and environmentally considers its context, visually connecting the contemporary building with its rural landscape. The building’s broad views and materials announce its regionalism and connections to nature. Fritted low E and coloured glazing minimize heat penetration on the south elevation controlling the temperature and maximizing energy efficiency of the mechanical system.

Preliminary steps have been taken towards the second phase that will see the school continue to cultivate the surrounding landscape to support field-to-fork learning and research. Students in the horticulture program have already planted fruit orchards, farm fields and greenhouses that grow produce used in the kitchens, laboratories and Bistro ’67. When completed, energy will be drawn from photovoltaic panels and the building will be insulated by a green roof and topped by an apiary for honey production. The interconnected programming at the CFF encourages students in all the departments to foster a strong understanding of the relationship between food and the environment and helps to maintain Ontario’s strong agricultural tradition.  

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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - View from the Highway 401 - Photo credit: Tom Arban
View from the Highway 401
Photo credit: Tom Arban
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - West face of the school from the adjacent agricultural fields - Photo credit: Tom Arban
West face of the school from the adjacent agricultural fields
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - Culinary and wine labs open onto the central atrium which doubles as an event space - Photo credit: Tom Arban
Culinary and wine labs open onto the central atrium which doubles as an event space
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - Wine Tasting Lab - Photo credit: Tom Arban
Wine Tasting Lab
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - Student chef's cross paths in an informal learning area - Photo credit: Tom Arban
Student chef's cross paths in an informal learning area
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - A feature stair connects the three floors with coloured light - Photo credit: Tom Arban
A feature stair connects the three floors with coloured light
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - A lush, green, two-storey herb garden living wall in the central atrium - Photo credit: Remi Carreiro
A lush, green, two-storey herb garden living wall in the central atrium
Photo credit: Remi Carreiro
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - Students prep ingredients in the large quantities kitchen - Photo credit: Tom Arban
Students prep ingredients in the large quantities kitchen
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - Student space with views to the fields, kitchens and into the central atrium - Photo credit: Remi Carreiro
Student space with views to the fields, kitchens and into the central atrium
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - Light wells bring natural light into the lower-level student spaces - Photo credit: Tom Arban
Light wells bring natural light into the lower-level student spaces
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - Culinary Demonstration and Lecture Theatre - Photo credit: Tom Arban
Culinary Demonstration and Lecture Theatre
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - Bistro B'67 Teaching Restaurant - Photo credit: Tom Arban
Bistro B'67 Teaching Restaurant
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - Bar and Service Station - Photo credit: Tom Arban
Bar and Service Station
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Press kit | 1866-01 - Press release | Durham College Centre for Food - Gow Hastings Architects - Institutional Architecture - Plan for the surrounding gardens and cultivated agricultural landscape. - Photo credit: Janet Rosenberg & Studio
Plan for the surrounding gardens and cultivated agricultural landscape.
Photo credit: Janet Rosenberg & Studio
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