At Innova Design Group we love inspirational design, so we’ve put together a pick of our favourite classrooms from around the world (plus a couple of our own!). All of them make clever use of space and utilise technology to produce fantastic learning environments for students.
1. Telefonplan School by Vittra, Sweden
From the country that made standardised, flat-pack furniture a global sensation comes a new approach to school design. Sweden is doing away with the traditional classroom, opting instead for open-plan schools designed to foster the imaginations of students in unique learning spaces. The breakdown of physical barriers such as walls and desks has created a free space which allows students to come together to collaborate, imagine and learn.
Vittra currently run 30 schools in Sweden which subscribe to this open-school philosophy and encourage independent learning.
2. UTC Lancashire by Innova Design Group, United Kingdom
Transforming a 150 year-old cotton mill into a cutting-edge learning space, fit for the north-west’s first University Technical College, was always going to be a mammoth task. We designed, manufactured and installed 5 state-of-the-art science laboratories and a prep room, incorporating many of the original features of the mill.
The Pod layout provides improved circulation routes, generous storage solutions and flexibility to suit teaching needs and curriculum requirements.
3. Kindergarten Kecic by Arhitektura Jure Kotnik, Slovenia
The immediately striking Kindergarten Kecic in Ljubljana gives students a chance to customise and adapt their own working space. With wooden slats covering the façade of the building, students are invited to manually alter their position to allow more or less light in to the classrooms. The simplistic interior designs make use of natural wood tones and significant amounts of space.
With almost all the furniture flexible and loose, the students can completely customise their learning environment and experience.
4. Ørestad Gymnasium by 3xN, Denmark
Image Credit: 3XN/Adam Mørk
Similar to the Vittra schools in Scandinavian neighbour Sweden, the Copenhagen High School’s design concept is centred around open spaces and removing barriers. The school was keen for all activities to be visible by all members of the school at all times, to inspire one another and facilitate healthy communication.
This has led to multi-level atriums with sprawling staircases looking into individual learning spaces. The minimalistic, light-coloured fittings and furnishings lend an additional sense of space throughout the school.
5. Shireland Collegiate Academy by Innova Design Group, United Kingdom
Implementing the unique Hot Corners concept, Innova Design Group were able to turn 6 laboratories of the Shireland Collegiate Academy into intuitive learning spaces, perfectly suited for written work, group learning and practical experiments. The intelligent layout of the classroom has been effective in creating shorter lines of communication between students and teachers.
The practical laboratories have been crafted from hard wearing solid surface materials to maximise longevity and ease of maintenance.
Bonus: Classroom Prototype by Durham University, United Kingdom
We couldn’t help featuring this one, even though it’s not a working classroom. Described as ‘Star Trek’ style classrooms by some corners of the media, the prototype classroom built by Durham University utilises state-of-the-art technology to provide an exceptional learning environment for students. The centrepieces of the futuristic classroom are the multi-touch, multi-user smart desks which have been shown to improve the maths skills of students at a faster rate than traditional techniques.
The smart desks allow students to fully participate in group activities, granting them the opportunity to see how their neighbour is working. Teachers can remotely send tasks to the desks, allowing them to direct work to appropriate groups efficiently.
If any of these classrooms inspired you, or you are looking to discuss ideas for a future project, give us a call or email us!