Newnham Campus Food Hall (The Pond)

Located at the heart of Seneca Polytechnic’s Newnham Campus (formerly known as Seneca College), the existing campus cafeteria and food court was transformed into a multi-use, light-filled food hall and central gathering space, doubling the size of the existing cafeteria.

The Seneca community contributed to the renaming of the new Food Hall, selecting The Pond, as its new name, paying homage to its campus history where a water body on site was once a popular gathering place for students and employees.

The Pond, forms a new focal point for social activities and interaction in the campus. Designed around the idea of a town square, the main circulation corridor that connects all buildings on campus, and which previously skirted around the old cafeteria, was reworked to pass through the middle of the food hall, creating a lively pedestrian street lined with food stations, a variety of flexible seating options, banquette seating, and flexible public gathering spaces that can also serve as small event spaces for art shows, buskers, art exhibits etc.

The new Food Hall offers students a wide selection of healthy food options from five large food stations and a freestanding market selling fruits, vegetables, fresh and frozen food options and a myriad of other products. The stations include new state-of-the-art kitchen equipment designed to respond to changing food tastes over time without the need to make major equipment changes. New electronic Point of Sale stations offer today’s mobile students a variety of ways to order and pay for food.

A 7.75 m high canopy spanning 6.6 m floats above the south facing outdoor terrace, providing students and staff a comfortable meeting place for collaboration, socializing, and outdoor dining. A pop of red at the main entrance and along the west façade provides an element of delight against a more subtle palette of ribbed aluminum cladding and large expanses of glass which blend seamlessly with the existing portions of the building.

Pedestrian connections and pathways that form the new Central Quad maximize functionality and safety and are framed by a naturalized landscape and support a variety of activities. The landscape has been designed to be durable, able to withstand the heavy pedestrian traffic that comes across the core of the campus, while accommodating stormwater on site with permeable paving solutions and landscaped areas that filter and use water. The planting features native plants and is evocative of the natural heritage of the site. Plant species were selected to enhance the landscape aesthetic in the fall and winter months when the campus is most used.

Inside, hand painted murals by five recent graduates of the School of Creative Arts & Animation at Seneca named the ‘Reciprocity Murals’, integrates the indoor and outdoor experience. The mural acknowledges the wisdom and guidance of First Peoples, the land and all plant and animal life that is present on the grounds of the The Pond.


Seneca Polytechnic (formerly Seneca College)


Addition + Renovation


Renovated Area: 28,718 sq.ft.; New Addition: 6,400 sq.ft.


Completed, January 2021


Tom Arban Photography Inc.

Awards & Certifications

ArchDaily Building of the Year Nomination, 2022
Archello's Best International Projects, 2021