CFB Borden All Ranks Kitchen and Dining Facilities

Designed by: FABRIQ Architecture and ZAS Architects in joint venture


Location: Borden, Ontario




Located at CFB Borden, the overall goal of the Department of National Defense (DND), was to consolidate its dining facilities on the base, numbering over a dozen and some dating back to the Second World War, into two modern efficient facilities located in such a way as to allow students to walk to one in no more than 500m.






The program includes the dining hall, kitchen facilities and office areas, as well as a washroom and first aid facilities for the adjacent soccer pitches.








The facilities are designed to address current food service deficiencies and to prepare for future needs, seating 750 at a time, 1500 diners per meal (through 2).







The principal requirements of the National Defence are mainly technical, that is to provide facilities that are functional, durable and easy to maintain. The project design satisfies these basic requirements but also strives for added value. More specifically, we aim to surpass the client’s technical requirements by providing beauty, light and spatial quality which will in turn increase user comfort and well-being.





It is difficult to overstate the importance of wayfinding forward flow in such a facility. The building’s plan, forms, colour and materials are all used effectively to convey an intuitive understanding of path and use – diners who have never entered the building are naturally brought through the facility in a loop, completing it with no cross-circulation. This is very important considering the volume of diners. Forward flow design is also used in the service and kitchen areas. From deliveries to the table and back to the trash, the design is carefully tailored to avoid cross-traffic.





The exterior forms are deliberately orthogonal, streamlined and understated in order to produce an elegant, timeless building that fits in with the existing built environment at the base. As you enter the facility the aesthetic changes, the building interior takes the form of the dramatic glue laminated arboriform wood structure of the columns and beams, in reference to the pine forests that were once dominant in the area. These structural elements, along with the sweeping views of the natural context provided by floor to ceiling curtain wall, aim to provide the diner a comfortable, peaceful environment for meals – better to appreciate the respite in otherwise often grueling schedules. Graphics along the walls carry this sylvan theme into the service area.





The use of form and colour to help inform clients is also utilized on the exterior. Spaces intended for the public are housed in the light coloured, taller block, while the darker block is reserved for the technical and kitchen areas.








The kitchen and preparation area is equipped with the latest kitchen and cooking equipment with ample space for user groups to work comfortably and efficiently. It is also one of the first in Canada to use its state of the art waste-disposal vacuum system, which allows the elimination of cross circulation of food and waste.


LEED silver certification targeted.








Our kitchen consultant, a vital member of the team, was instrumental in finding and recommending cutting-edge technologies, some of which this facility is amongst the first to use in Canada, including exceptionally environmentally efficient systems, automated dishwashing, and the remote waste system.


We worked hand in hand with our structural engineers to design of the articulated arboriform structure. Working directly with fabricators, our team was able to produce the evocative forms while staying well within the budget.


With the help of a glazing consultant, different glazing technologies were used on the various facades to improve client comfort, daylighting, and energy efficiency.