Giggleswick makes space for the future

A new science lab maximises creativity and minimises clutter at Giggleswick School

Giggleswick School has a history stretching back to the 16th century. Founded in 1512, the school moved to its current site in the 1860s and includes buildings dating back 140 years.

As part of a large-scale plan to redevelop and upgrade their facilities, the school was looking to invest in a new science laboratory to provide pupils with a state of the art environment in which to pursue their studies.

Space was the key factor to creating a classroom that would really work at Giggleswick. The school wanted a science laboratory that would allow a class of 24 students to conduct a broad range of practical and theoretical lessons but also have sufficient space for books and equipment.

At 600mm deep, the existing workbenches were inadequate to accommodate practical work, and were cluttered with books and equipment. Perimeter benching was also required to create a holding area for equipment to be set out prior to practical work and to be stored ahead of its return to the prep rooms.

Working closely with staff and students at the school, education interiors specialists Innova Design Solutions created a lab that maximised space and minimised clutter, giving staff and students the room to circulate easily and move quickly from theory to practical.

Providing the school with a full turnkey solution from design and manufacture to installation, Innova designed a layout featuring a series of fixed, centre floor linear benches with 900mm deep worktops to give students space to carry out theory and practical sessions comfortably. With services located on the front face of the units, the layout maximises desk space, allowing sufficient room for both practical and theory lessons.

To aid practical work, additional gas taps and power sockets were installed on centre floor benches, along with sinks, creating defined areas for students to conduct experimentation and minimising the time spent moving around the classroom  – allowing students to focus on the task in hand.

To further increase space on work surfaces and to reduce distractions for students, services were positioned on the front face of benches. Pop-up sockets were fitted as a space saving solution, with under counter storage along the length of the central workstations and beneath perimeter benching. High-level units with glazed doors provided an attractive additional space to store books and equipment.

A demonstration area was also installed at the front of the class to give the students a clear view when observing teacher-led practicals.

Giggleswick wanted their lab to look and feel contemporary, yet be in keeping with the historical building it was housed in. A neutral colour scheme for cupboards and work surfaces, highlighted with accent edging, gave the new lab an appearance that is bright, modern yet in harmony with its surroundings.

To guarantee a lab able to endure the demands of generations of students, hard working, durable Trespa Toplab Base worktops were fitted, giving Giggleswick a stimulating learning environment that will continue to inspire young scientists well into the future.

James Halton, Properties Manager for Giggleswick, said: “Innova provided a well-considered design and were thoroughly professional and hardworking on site. Whilst only a relatively small project it still required attention to detail and good workmanship. We’re very pleased with the results and looking forward to the students benefitting from the new facility.” 

www.giggleswick.org.uk