Durham College Centre for Food

The Centre for Food at Durham College will distinguish itself in the highly competitive field of culinary education by taking advantage of its rural setting on a large suburban campus in Whitby Ontario to narrate a story about the process of making a meal from “field to fork. Literally and figuratively merged with the landscape, the building will grow from its surroundings, with a ramp that will rise from the cropland to the linear building’s second storey. This and the surrounding fields will be planted with vegetables and herbs that will be used in the school’s culinary and hospitality programs, showcasing the school’s emphasis on regionalism, sustainability and wellness.

The ramp will continue internally taking students and visitors on a journey through food distribution rooms, a 150-seat lecture theatre, change rooms, faculty offices, classrooms and an array of hospitality and culinary labs that will circle a central atrium. Drawing users to the heart of the building, the atrium, with a two-storey living wall, will serve as a central meeting place and a venue for events and celebrations. Windows will give passersby glimpses into the labs, encouraging exploration into other areas and helping to establish a dynamic energy within the building.

The sequence of spaces will culminate on the second floor with a soaring 70-seat restaurant that will offer expansive views over the gardens and the campus. Its open kitchen will enable diners to see their food being prepared, and staff and students to observe how it is received. Highly visible to commuters on the Highway 401, the restaurant will entice the public a welcome alternative to fast food, and at the same time give students practical hospitality experience.

This teaching restaurant will include an open dining area, bar and serving area and private dining room. Warm woods, soft stones and natural colours will further emphasize the building’s regionalism and connections to nature. Marble, Corian, stainless steel and ceramic tile in the labs will reduce visual clutter, maintain sanitation and to enhance function.

Learn about our other Culinary Arts and Culinary Institutes projects.

Durham College, Whitby, ON 
Size:  35,000 sq. ft.
Completion:  2014/2015

Durham College Centre for Food video produced by The Canadian Construction Association.

A slender, elegant building, with intersecting forms of varying textures overlapping each other in long, linear, and horizontal bands.

Related Culinary Arts School Projects

  • Durham College Centre for Food
  • George Brown College School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts
  • George Brown College Chefs' House Restaurant
  • Humber Canadian Centre for Culinary Arts & Science
  • George Brown College Mixology Lab
  • The Humber Room Restaurant
  • Centennial College Culinary Arts Centre
  • Humber College Demonstration Kitchen and Auditorium
  • Niagara College Canadian Food and Wine Institute