University of Wisconsin-Madison – Gordon Avenue

This project involved completely replacing the nearly 50-year-old Gordon Commons with the new highly stylized, on-trend Gordon Avenue Market designed to meet students’ increasingly sophisticated culinary tastes and convenience-driven lifestyles. The 99,000-square-foot-project features 10 diverse a la carte dining venues and a convenience store offering groceries, school supplies, nachos, and hot pretzels. Each venue offers freshly made or finished-to-order specialties ranging from stone hearth oven pizzas to organic burgers to a broad array of international specialties.

The back-of-the house is relatively small because everything has been brought out front for preparation in front of the customers. The new central production kitchen has cook-chill capability that means big changes to production processes and allows food to be held for up to 30-days and provides greater menu diversity. The project features a dedicated area for local produce receiving and processing to for cleaning farm-to-table produce right off the dock.

In addition, the kitchen area includes the receiving dock, storage, an ingredient assembly area, central bakery, central catering production areas, a food bank, and distribution staging areas for room temperature and refrigerated items.

The marketplace features pizza, pasta, grill, deli, salad bar, comfort food, Mexican, International sauté, and breakfast all day. Bulk and bottled beverages, snacks, cereal, desserts, and grab-and-go are also offered. Three separate dining areas provide seating for 600, plus upper level event seating for 300. The upper level includes catering and summer conference support and dining areas. The total foodservice area is 67,000 square feet, with 7,000 students on the a la carte meal program.


Location: Madison, WI
Opening Date: June 2012
Equipment Cost: $3,800,000
Peak Meal Volume: 2,000


Marketplace Center
Convenience Store
Coffee & Ice Cream Shop

“frk has had the good fortune to with Rippe Associates for more than 20 years on many projects together. Our focus is the K-12 market and we have always appreciated the deep knowledge base, attention to detail, and extensive experience the team at Rippe Associate provides for educational design. We have also greatly valued the professional, yet personal approach, their designers take with our clients. When working with Rippe, we are always confident the project will be a success!”

Thomas C. Wollan, AIA, LEED AP

Partner at frk architects + engineers

“When it comes to dietary planning, Rippe is always first on my list when team building. They have a strong understanding of all the issues, are creative problem solvers, and are consistent with their execution.”

Daniel J. Rectenwald, AIA, ACHA, NCARB

Vice President, Principal at HGA

"The development of Elmhurst Hospital’s replacement campus was complex. The Rippe team supported our vision to transform healthcare foodservice. The result was exceptional reviews from our patients and staff, along with a facility that supported efficient operations."

David E. Reeves

Past President of the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF)

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