PITTSBURGH, PA: Chatham University has announced the completion of the first phase of construction of its Eden Hall Campus, and celebrated this milestone on Thursday, April 28, 2016 with the official grand opening and dedication of the new Esther Barazzone Center, which has been named in honor of Chatham’s retiring President, Dr. Esther Barazzone.
Spanning 23,000 square feet and two floors, The Esther Barazzone Center is a multi-purpose campus hub designed to exceed LEED Platinum standards and serves as the dining hall and main gathering space of this “first in the world” sustainable campus.
The Esther Barazzone Center features an innovative commercial and teaching kitchen where food from Eden Hall’s gardens and greenhouses will be prepared using 100% inductive heating, recycled through a heat loop. Power is generated from a mix of solar panels and two, highly efficient natural-gas powered micro-turbines generating electricity into the campus grid to offset use and model transitional carbon energy working in conjunction with renewable sources. In the center of the building is a large staircase, marking an aesthetic center point of the campus. The walls are earthen—using soil from the campus—with images of native trees and wood for the reclaimed from an old bowling alley. Other features include:
- A large cafeteria and student lounge space with seating for 250 people.
- A green wall of living plants—an installation that automatically waters itself. Herbs from the green wall will be used in the kitchen in the future.
- A large, tiered classroom with advanced media technology and a digital data display of Eden Hall’s various systems for students to analyze.
- A root cellar, with wood flooring that opens to the ground.
The dedication featured a lunch prepared in the Barazzone Center’s commercial teaching kitchen with keynote remarks by Barton Seaver, executive chef and sustainable seafood expert on “a mission to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other—through dinner.” Seaver is the author of four books; was a Fellow with the Explorer Program at the National Geographic Society; and is the Director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In addition, he is a member of the United States Culinary Corps, where he helps develop international conversations about sustainability and the role of culinary in resource management and public health.