Wycombe Abbey School New Laboratories 

Wycombe Abbey is a modern independent boarding school dedicated to serving  650 girls aged between 11-18.  With a rich history spanning more than 125 years in the realm of educating young women, their aspiration is to deliver a world class education.

As a consistently ranked top 30 senior school in the UK, Wycombe Abbey remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing leadership qualities and igniting a love for learning and innovative thinking within and beyond the confines of the classroom.

The School’s key objectives include:

  • The pursuit of academic excellence
  • The development of each individual’s creative, physical and social talent
  • The promotion of faith and commitment to serving other people, all within a rewarding and caring community.

The Brief

Wycombe Abbey has ambitious plans to revamp their expansive 170-acre campus through the next decade.

In early January 23, the Estates, Project Manager contacted Innova for a design and quote to completely refurbish the Physics, Chemistry and Biology laboratories, as part of a comprehensive turnkey, JCT contract scheduled for summer 2023.

Wycombe Abbey’s existing laboratory interiors were outdated workspaces complete with old fashioned wooden worktops and outdated services.  Innova’s overall objective was to retain the essential functions of the rooms, while executing a full renovation, incorporating new ceilings, Lighting, flooring, M&E works, air conditioning, fume cupboards and feature colours throughout the interiors.

The Head of Science provided a comprehensive brief, for the team to initiate the design work and provide a detailed quotation.

  • To continue with discipline specific labs.
  • Provide space for a minimum 22 students in each lab, but avoid overcrowding unless it can be done comfortably and effortlessly.
  • Do not need to design “uber-flexible” spaces, but obviously a degree of flexibility may be useful.
  • Technology should be focused around, teaching stations and the presumption of 1:1 devices for the pupils (include charging/power points for each pupil).
  • Style needs to get away from “staid 1960s”! But needs to work for both teaching and longer term maintainability.
  • Roller boards to be replaced, but need decent screens and additional white/glass board everywhere!

The Solution

During the summer of 2023, Innova successfully completed an extensive refurbishment project transforming Wycombe Abbey’s, laboratories into modern, 21st century spaces. The entire project from design, to manufacture and installation was executed on time and to budget.

Working in partnership with the school, our designers developed, user-centric layouts to optimise the space and create a ‘wow’ factor as well as meet all the practical requirements of each interior.

The designs of the Biology & Chemistry Labs emphasize safety and practicality within the rooms by featuring straight benching and slope-mounted electrical services off the bench.  Additionally sinks and ample storage have been integrated both within the benching and around the perimeter to enhance the overall functionality.

In contrast the Physics lab has been designed with fixed service pods with loose tables, providing the flexibility to accommodate diverse teaching styles, ranging from group work, to practical and theory sessions.

All Laboratories, now feature, a teacher demonstration desk with a large teacher wall showcasing a 90″ screen.  This set up provides students with excellent visibility and enables teachers to deliver lessons effectively.

The Science faculty at Wycombe Abbey is exceptionally delighted with their newly customised teaching spaces, featuring focal points in each room that effectively captivate student’s attention and keep their minds focused on the task in hand.


Are you looking to develop your laboratory environments? Contact us on 0161 4775300, email hello@innovadesigngroup.co.uk or complete the form below.

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