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Photo credit: Brenda Liu


Montreal-based firm FABRIQ Architecture and Toronto-based ZAS Architects have recently collaborated to complete two new dining facilities at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden, north of Toronto, Ontario. The new facilities are intended to replace the dozen or so disparate ones currently being used at the base. 

The design strategy for these prototype kitchen and dining facilities focused on providing pleasant, efficient and enduring buildings with plenty of natural light and optimized interior traffic flows. The exterior forms are deliberately orthogonal, streamlined and understated in order to produce elegant buildings that fit in with the existing built environment at the base. [1]

As a result, the four current ageing 1950’s dining facilities would be demolished, as part of a separate contract, and replaced with two new identical facilities (Curtiss and Vickers) strategically located on the campus. The design strategy for this new prototype kitchen and dining facility focused on providing a pleasant, efficient and enduring building with plenty of natural light and optimized interior traffic flows. 

The exterior forms were kept deliberately orthogonal, streamline and understated in order to produce an elegant, timeless building which fits in with the existing built environment at the base. As you enter the facility the esthetic changes and you are reminded of the history of the pine forests that were once dominant in the landscape of the site in the form of the dramatic glue laminated curved structure of the columns and beams. 

The interior design focuses on achieving a pleasant, easily maintained space optimized for clear and instinctive wayfinding – achieved through use of forms, materials and colours inspired by the military ribbon graphic. [2]

The buildings provide free flowing user circulation to and from all serving areas and dining zones. The spaces are bright and easy to navigate, with natural light and views to the outside from virtually all spaces. Large and complex mechanical equipment seamlessly integrates itself into the architecture and provides comfort and fresh air to the building’s occupants. The project, which targets LEED Silver certification, was completed in joint venture with ZAS Architects from Toronto. [3]

Designed to meet LEED® Silver Certification, this 55,600 square foot facility is comprised of a state-of-the-art fully functional commercial kitchen, an administration area, and a 4,800 square foot survey area and an 11,500 square foot dining room area to serve approximately 3,000 soldiers per day. Construction of the $18 million facility included the development of the site to include carpool parking, bicycle racks, an electric car charging station and a large outdoor patio surrounded by carefully selected vegetation/ landscaping. [4] 


[1]      Lam, Elsa. “New Dining Facilities at CFB Borden Unveiled.” Canadian Architect, March 7, 2016. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/new-dining-facilities-at-cfb-borden-unveiled/.

[2]     “Publication- ZAS.” ZAS Architects + Interiors. Accessed June 16, 2021. https://www.zasa.com/curtiss-kitchen-and-dining-facility/oazzrxk9lc8gyzx2fmpmgpaz3gwbqe.

[3]      “Curtiss Dining Hall, Borden.” FABRIQ architecture " Curtiss Dining Hall, Borden. Accessed June 16, 2021. https://fabriq.com/en/curtiss-dining-hall_borden/.

[4]       “Vickers Dining Hall: Construction Services.” Aquicon. Accessed June 16, 2021. https://aquicon.com/construction-projects/vickers-dining-hall-cfb-borden/.

Additional information:

“Curtiss and Vickers Kitchen Dining Facilities.” Wood Design & Building no. 73, 2016.


Leiva, Sabrina. “CFB Borden All Ranks Kitchen and Dining Facilities / FABRIQ Architecture + Zas Architects.” ArchDaily. ArchDaily, April 22, 2017. https://www.archdaily.com/867837/cfb-borden-all-ranks-kitchen-and-dining-facilities-fabriq-architecture-plus-zas-architects.


Liu, Karon. “A Look inside Borden Military Base's Stunning New Mess Hall.” thestar.com, May 25, 2016. https://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine/2016/05/25/a-look-inside-borden-military-bases-stunning-new-mess-hall.html.


“News.” Canadian Architect, April 2016.


Project Title: Curtiss and Vickers Dining Halls, Borden CFB
Artists:  FABRIQ, ZAS Architects
Year: 2016

Place: Borden, ON

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