Panera Bread – Morgantown

With each community, there are unique conditions that require the architect to respond to a program in different ways.  Located not far from the West Virginia University campus, the Morgantown Panera Bread is situated in the heart of the active downtown.  This location was designed to provide an open and inviting location while also addressing the limitations, challenges and opportunities of an urban site.  Using contemporary finishes, the design is stark contrast to other buildings that make up this eclectic area of Morgantown.


Panera Bread – Morgantown


As with any site, there are always challenges. In Morgantown, these issues were magnified due to the complexity of each.  The new site is located in the downtown, near several structures of significant value. Coupled with a significant change in elevation, a small lot size, limited access for deliveries and zero lot lines all were a factor in the development of the design.


Working to reposition program spaces, the back of house was tucked into the hillside, allowing the lobby and dining area to open on to the street front area. With the need to connect the sales area with the back of house, the second level, accessed by elevator and an open glass stair, served as the primary dining area.  A side entry provides access to the exterior street side dining area and the delivery area at the back of house is serviced by a separate freight elevator. The façade was designed to accent the entry, but not to compete with detail and texture of the adjacent buildings.