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The Coolest Laboratory Layout: Innova’s Hot Corner


Every lab is different and your needs, activities, size of the space, method of distributing services, choice of furniture and planning for safety will all dictate a large portion of your design choice as well as affect the way in which a laboratory is used.

Research shows that practical activity time within a laboratory amounts to no more than 40 per cent, therefore it is important to ensure that both practical teaching and theory are optimised within the design and provides flexibility to meet the requirements of each discipline.

Innova’s Hot Corners® Laboratory lay-out creates a flexible learning environment that addresses the need to provide both a working classroom and practical laboratory within the same space. This layout reduces spatial restrictions on a room, offering teachers and students a more dynamic way of working than ‘old fashioned’ rows of desks.

This state-of-the-art unit combines practical functionality with thoughtful design to offer a flexible system that will meet the requirements of a number of scientific disciplines and include:

The Benefits:

  • Easy to switch from theory to practical increasing the opportunity to accommodate more practical lessons.
  • Shorter lines of communication, improving room management by relocating the teacher to the long wall (dependent on room shape).
  • A more collaborative approach to learning, with all students facing the teacher.
  • Teacher demo area, the perfect space to deliver practical and theory lessons. With integrated services and a mobile fume cupboard.
  • Reduction of spatial restrictions, optimizing the circulation space.
  • Flexibility and choice in sink location and the siting of power outlets and gas taps.
  • Gas and electric outlets can be located on the front face of each bench, away from the work surface ensuring they are tamper-proof but easy to access.
  • More bench and storage space around the perimeter to help minimise clutter.
  • Ability for students to work in groups, pairs and of course individually.

The Hot Corner concept is bringing a new dimension to science rooms and teaching and has successfully been installed in numerous projects over the years from Shireland Collegiate Academy, Dulwich Prep School, Salford College and more recently Wolverhampton Grammar School.

Shireland Collegiate Academy

As part of a huge investment in the science facilities, Shireland was looking to transform its existing laboratories into contemporary spaces designed to maximise learning and allowed students to engage fully in practical sessions.

Innova Design Group provided Shireland’s with a full turnkey solution – from design and manufacture to installation including M&E, flooring, suspended ceilings, LED lighting and air conditioning – leaving the school with impressive facilities to match their outstanding ethos.

Following the refurbishment of the laboratories Innova revisited the school and we were delighted to hear what an impact the new labs are having on teaching and learning.

VIDEO: Science labs that make practicals perfect

View on youtube

Can a new classroom really make a difference to teaching and learning?

That’s the question we’ve been asking as we revisit the schools we’ve previously worked with.

Take a look to find out how the refurbishment of a science laboratory at Shireland Collegiate Academy in Smethwick, West Midlands has transformed attitudes for students and staff alike.

Dulwich Prep School, London

As part of the plans to improve its science and technology facilities, historic preparatory school Dulwich Prep London wanted to create a new build extension to sit between two existing buildings.

Tasked with creating three dedicated science labs, a science prep room, an office and a chemical store, Innova created a modern, light and spacious feel with cutting edge design by adapting its unique Hot Corners concept to the main lab classrooms.  Hot Corners provided a flexible layout ideally suited to today’s collaborative teaching methods.

Dulwich Prep School London Hot Corner Science Laboratory Image

The new Laboratories will now inspire budding scientist well into the future.

“We would certainly recommend Innova again and ask them not to change their approach to a project in anyway.”


Click here to read the full case study

Teachers often adjust their teaching style to suit their learning space, so the opportunity to work in a classroom refurbished or built to meet their specific needs can be a transformative experience.


Are you looking to create the perfect laboratory space? Innova can deliver your project from design through installation, helping you get the most from your space and budget. Call us on 0161 477 5300 or email