Laboratories to impress
Preparing more than 1,250 international students per year for entry into UK universities is quite a task. As students become ever more discerning customers, providing them with inspirational, state-of-the-art environments in which to learn is part of the challenge for private educators like Bellerbys College.
To keep pace with changes in teaching and learning styles the college wanted to transform its science facilities, creating contemporary labs and prep rooms to impress and motivate students. Education interiors specialists Innova Design Group were selected to design and install the labs at Bellerby’s College Cambridge as part of a 115 room installation which took place simultaneously across four sites and included 50 bedrooms at the Manor Site in Cambridge, 15 art rooms at the Oxford site, 12 Labs/ICT suites at the Brighton site and 28 student common rooms at the Greenwich site.
The brief was to create science labs where each interior had their own distinct style. Innova worked closely with teaching staff at Bellerbys Cambridge to produce individual layouts and colour schemes, offering teachers the unique opportunity to tailor their classrooms to suit their preferred teaching styles.
Every room was designed to offer teachers better management of the learning environment and shortened lines of communication to keep students focused on their studies.
With practical lessons central to teaching at Bellerbys, the labs were planned to allow the maximum space possible to conduct experiments.
Different benching configurations were selected, ranging from peninsular to curved centre floor layouts. Sinks were installed in centre floor units to further optimise the space available for practical study.
To ensure space for chemicals, books and equipment was maximised, storage cupboards were integrated into perimeter and centre floor benching alongside racks for gratnell trays. Further storage was provided with the creation of mechanically ventilated chemical stores where shelving and lockable cupboards enabled technicians to keep equipment well-organised and close at hand for experiments.
A mixture of Trespa, Formica compact grade laminate and CDF (Kronoswiss), an eco-friendly compact grade density board, was chosen to ensure work surfaces were attractive, durable and chemical resistant.
Bellerbys was seeking bright, attention grabbing labs with a real wow factor and Innova delivered: colourful, eyecatching units in blue and green were installed to provide a contrast to the neutral walls and worksurfaces, creating learning spaces with real impact.
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