Benjamin Britten looks to the future with 21st century laboratories and art classrooms

Benjamin Britten School is a 11 to 18 co-educational day school founded in honour of England’s greatest composer of Lowestoft, Benjamin Britten. Set in over 28 acres the school attracts expertise from the Russell Group of Universities and prides itself on providing first class facilities to develop the “sharpest of minds”.

The Brief

As part of on-going developments to create inspiring learning environments, Benjamin Britten’s science labs and art and textile classrooms were in need of modernisation.

To ensure that the refurbishment works could be carried out throughout the year without disruption to lessons, the school were looking for a rolling programme to maintain and develop its facilities.

With a proven track record of successfully installing rolling programmes, Innova were delighted to secure the project, minimising disruption and ensuring teaching and learning could continue seamlessly.

The Solution

With an increase in roll call and the need to meet the demands of the 21st century curriculum, the school were looking to revamp an existing lab space as well as convert disused classroom spaces into functional, cutting-edge science facilities.

As part of a full turnkey solution which included everything from design and manufacture to installation, of furniture, M&E works and flooring, Innova ripped out the outdated rows of iroko lab furniture in the existing laboratory and installed a flexible learning environment that included enhanced circulation space and clever storage solutions.

To transform the general classrooms into two state-of-the-art laboratories, Innova managed the removal of internal walls, involving structural engineers and building control to ensure an efficient re-modernisation programme, meeting all required building regulations.

The three new labs now feature fixed service pods which house electrics and gas connections with loose tables to create a more flexible layout for the school. This layout enable students to work together in groups by re-configuring tables around the service pods.

Sinks and storage were kept to the perimeter including pigeon hole units for bag storage to ensure the laboratories remain clutter-free.

In the Art Department, generous work surfaces were an important factor in the refurbishment to give students sufficient space for project work. Large re-configurable tables were installed along with plenty of perimeter storage to house art materials and ensure a clutter-free space. Open shelving provides additional storage for 2D and 3D work, along with bespoke drying racks, freeing up valuable classroom space.

The textile room was designed to encourage and inspire student creativity across a range of mediums. Large craft tables now give teachers the flexibility to re-configure the room depending on the activity, from cutting fabric to pattern making and demonstrations of textile techniques.

Sawtooth benching has been positioned along the perimeter, offering students more elbow room and space to drape fabric when working on sewing machines. Specialist storage for materials and fabric was installed along with large belfast sinks to provide the resource for a range of textile processes such as mixing and dyeing.

The results are modern, inspirational learning spaces which stimulate students and create a lasting passion for science, art and technology related subjects.


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