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Dining Commons Transformation Project

Dining Room


The interactions and the friendships that occur in the Dining Commons lie at the heart of I-House. In an effort to provide the best possible experience for residents and the community, I-House will embark on a multi-million dollar renovation project to improve customer service, interaction, efficiency, and access.  The Dining Commons Transformation Project (DCTP) began in December of 2014 and reaffirms the centrality of the dining experience to the mission of I-House. 

Thankfully we are off to a terrific start in funding this project. I-House alumni Eric & Wendy Schmidt have gifted $1 million already to jumpstart the initiative. They have pledged an additional $1 million to serve as a matching challenge. Watch video below:

Improvements to the Kitchen & Serving Area:

Enhanced Service

Four interactive food stations replace the single entrée server, each with the chance for food preparers to connect in conversation with residents, improving feedback loops for constant improvements.

Food Variety

An expanded salad bar with more options will be established to complement four food stations: convection oven station (pizza anyone?), a grill (with varying options), International Entrée (with ethnic specialties), and Seasonal Entrée.

Energy and Water Efficiency

New lights, plumbing fixtures and cooking stoves will enhance the sustainability focus of the remodel, which furthers our recent improvements with composting and recycling to reduce waste.

Better Space and Storage use

Improvements to the flow of customers and food will save time and enhance operational efficiency.

Presentation Kitchen

A mobile teaching and prep table will feature an overhead mirror to allow demonstrations of cooking techniques from around the world. Staff, residents and occasional celebrity guest chefs will be invited to showcase their talents.

ADA Improvements & Enhanced Ergonomics

Attending to the height and spacing of kitchen and serving area elements will ensure a welcoming and functional experience for all our employees and guests.

Improvements to the Dining Area:

An Elevated Performance Platform

For Cultural Theme Dinners, Movie Nights and other occasions.

New Sound, Lighting and A/V Equipment

So the voices and images we share together from around the world look and sound their best!


Dining Commons Transformation Project


Where will students eat during construction?

Over the six -month construction schedule (December, 2014 – June, 2015) all 585 residents will enjoy meals next door at the recently renovated Field Club at Memorial Stadium, pictured below. “It’s a stunning facility,” says Business Manager Shirley Spiller. “We are so lucky its features and convenience make this a perfect alternative for meals while construction is underway.”

Dining Room

Map to Stadium Field Club

The Memorial Stadium Field Club is located next door to International House.


Meals will continue to be prepared by the dedicated I-House Dining Services team with all of our regular menu items as well as special event meals designed to enhance food service during this transitional period.  It is our hope that this alternate venue and special menu offerings will provide a unique and highly memorable dining experience for all our residents.

For questions about the temporary dining facilities, contact Shirley Spiller at
shirley.spiller@berkeley.edu or (510) 643-8315.