Modern Engaging Interiors for Trent College

Trent College is a thriving co-educational, independent and boarding school for students between 11-18 years. As an independent school Trent’s vision is to provide a first-class all-round education for students, which ensures the best-possible start to their future careers.

Being a forward-thinking school, students have been equipped with the modern facilities needed to help nurture diverse, wide ranges of extra-curricular activities.

In 2017 as part of the on-going development to create modern engaging interiors to inspire both staff and students, the science department was transformed into a 21st Century learning environment.

The Brief

The schools Science laboratories were in need of modernisation, ageing wooden furniture arranged in a traditional long bench layout, lack of storage gave an uninspiring feel of the spaces and did not meet their vision in providing first class facilities.

Following a competitive tender Innova was appointed to deliver modern, cutting-edge science laboratories and a food technology room.  Innova’s brief was to provide efficient learning spaces that can accommodate practical and written work, maximising interactivity and learning. Quality and durability were also an important consideration as the school was looking to build long lasting inspirational interiors, as they celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2018.

"We were delighted with the successful completion of our science lab refurbishment project. The Innova team worked well with academic staff to ensure all wishes and requirements were incorporated into creative, well thought through designs. The finished labs certainly create a ‘Wow Factor’ within our school."

James Gregory, Director of Operations, Trent College

The Solution

Liaising closely with the key stakeholders of the college, interior specialists Innova Design Group delivered eight modern, flexible and space efficient science laboratories and one large food technology classroom. Innova provided a full turnkey solution including the design, manufacture and installation of the furniture as well as services and flooring.

The new flexible learning spaces not only meet the demands of the modern curriculum but ensure Trent College are offering first class facilities well into the future.

Cutting-Edge Science Laboratories

The science labs were developed predominantly with wing layouts, which has many advantages including:

  • A flexible learning environment that addresses the need for a working classroom and practical laboratory within the same space
  • The wing system ensures all the students face the front of the classroom. which gives teachers a greater control over their learning environment
  • A teacher wall can easily be incorporated in the layout as a focus point
  • Perimeter storage is a key feature in this design as it allows equipment and glassware to be stored quickly and easily, ensuring surfaces can be kept clean and clutter free minimising any distractions.
  • Gas and electric outlets are located on the front face of each bench, away from the work surface ensuring they are tamper proof but easy to access

A teacher demo bench with fully integrated services has been installed at the front of each room for demonstrations and Q&A sessions to take place as well as to accommodate smaller 6th form classes for more interactive discussions.

High quality, easy to maintain materials such as Trespa were specified to guarantee the longevity and good looks of the labs and create the high-end, modern yet timeless feel Trent wanted to convey in its new science department.

Tantalising Food Technology Space

For the food technology room  Innova developed curved island modules housing six cooking stations each, where students have all the necessary equipment to hand for practical work.  The open environment allows multiple users to work together with maximum effectiveness.

Black crackle Trespa surfaces were specified throughout, an excellent surface in Food technology rooms where maintenance and hygiene are a key consideration.

An island layout allows:

  • The teacher to circulate quickly and easily between the cooking stations, which could encourage good interactive learning and teaching and a lively atmosphere.
  • The teaching focus is kept in the centre of the space, with relatively equal access for all students to the demonstration/teacher zone.
  • The potential ‘wow’ factor and upbeat feel of a space arranged in this way usually assists motivation.

Integrated gas hobs and ‘pop up’ plug sockets free up work spaces for students during practical and theory sessions – help minimise distractions and creates a clutter-free environment.

The new flexible learning spaces not only meet the demands of the modern curriculum but ensure Trent College are offering first class facilities well into the future.

Read Innova’s Top 10 Tips when designing a food technology room or click here to see more examples of completed projects.


Innova delivers high performance learning environments that are durable and engaging, making educational interiors all over the country the most productive spaces to teach and learn .  Contact us today on 0161 477 5300.

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