Creating the right social space will offer students a creative backdrop to learn, assist with concentration and lead to improved engagement and interactions. With accessible internet, the rise of social media, and the encouragement of group work the ability to learn remotely now stretches far beyond the classroom walls. There is no reason why your campus shouldn’t be able to offer this valuable, informal space.
With many campus’ struggling with dining space, creating an additional covered area will take the pressure off managing multiple lunchtime sittings and provide your students with an all-weather year-round area to use when they escape the classroom.
For a social space to function well, the interior and exterior design aesthetic will need to be thoroughly developed during the initial design stages. Typically existing building stock will have been built up over many years and the ‘feel’ of new additions must be considered carefully. Will the new design either match the architectural features of the surrounding buildings or will it provide a sympathetic contrast? Appearance is key and this will also assist with the planning process
Comfort shouldn’t be neglected either. To create an area that can be used all year round, there is heating and ventilation to be considered. Ergonomic design can have a huge impact on physical and psychological well-being and these learning spaces are key to students experience whether formal or informal.
Beyond Staff and Students
Creating extra social space is an intergenerational opportunity that should be embraced by schools, colleges and universities; getting your social space right will not only benefit your students and staff. It may also provide many additional uses beyond the school day.
There is enormous potential to open up facilities to the public throughout the year. By creating a large, multi-purpose space within your grounds the campus can become a public building and generate an extra income. Becoming the venue for all manner of out of hour’s student gatherings, as well as external functions; from hall hire for exercise classes or meeting spaces for groups and clubs and even weddings!
Multi-use Building Extension Case Study
The leadership team at Gartree High School, in Oadby, Leicestershire were initially looking to address a shortfall in dining space with a ZONE™ structure, but have found that the inspiring winter garden environment provides many additional uses beyond the school day, including small working groups and parent and Governor meetings. With a mezzanine floor installed, a spiral staircase and glass balustrade this versatile space has even hosted a wedding.
If you are considering adding an additional social and dining space and would like to talk to us. Please fill in your details below and we will be in touch to discuss your ideas further.