Bruner/Cott Completes Café at the UMass Amherst

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Blue Wall Café

Cambridge, MA – Bruner/Cott & Associates announced the completion of the Blue Wall Café, an estimated $15 million transformation of the 32,000sf, LEED Silver (CI-Retail) Lincoln Campus Center (LCC) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass). Inspired by European restaurants and named for its blue-lit periphery wall, the café, houses 12 individual cuisine options and evokes a casual, urban, dining experience in a 920-seat facility.

Bruner/Cott’s comprehensive dining services and renovation study for the university guided the renovation process. Cooking technology, service, menu choices, and seating environments converge to meet increased meal service and demand. Greater connectedness and transparency within the space are key, as are “branded” and flexible seating areas, quiet lounge/study space, and a more engaging connection to the outdoors.

The firm’s project team (owner, consultants, and contractor) worked with Haley & Aldrich and used a Lean design approach to streamline the work flow and construction. The finished kitchens, serveries, and dining spaces, designed according to LEED CI-Retail guidelines, include energy- and water-saving equipment, lighting, food pulping and composting, recycling, and low-VOC furnishings and finishes.

Exhibition cooking, enhanced menu offerings, improved seating environments, and new interior finishes and lighting are among its most visible features. Transparency, LED, and natural light improve the center’s overall ambiance. New circulation strengthens connections for student traffic and adjacent buildings.