Culinary Advisors was retained by the architectural team to program and design the workplace dining for Capital One’s new headquarters office tower. The tower was the second building on what will be a three-building site. We were later retained by a second architectural team to reprogram and reconfigure the existing workplace dining and conferencing facilities in the original tower. Each tower had a completely different design team, each with its own mandate. The aggregate population of the two towers is nearly 10,000 people.
In doing the initial programming for the new Tower 2, the very notion of what the employee dining experience would be was redefined. The traditional cafeteria servery was deconstructed. This concept was carried over to the refresh of the existing Tower 1. Seating areas and serving stations were interwoven, an adaptation of a food hall concept. Some seating was actually incorporated into some of the points of service, with the food prep becoming entertainment. Another point of service complex was specifically configured in a way to allow for audience participation in cooking demonstrations. The beverage counter was completely eliminated, with menu appropriate beverage choices located at each serving station. Cashier stations were eliminated, replaced by self-checkout kiosks located throughout the dining/serving area; one cashier was retained for the occasional cash-only transactions.
An Urban Cultivator system was incorporated into the Tower 1 facility, allowing for cultivating fresh herbs and salad greens on site. Prep and serving stations are located indoors, outdoors, and as indoor/outdoor stations. Each tower has a 24/7 micro market that also works as a point of service when the larger dining facilities are in operation.
The rendering above shows the seven story Tower 2 base plinth, with the tower’s lower floors. The foodservice for this tower is immediately below the green roof and extends out onto the terrace with some stations able to operate both indoors and outdoors, and with a full outdoor kitchen as an added feature.