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Press Room: Demco helps students reach for the stars with new Discovery Centre

Demco helps students reach for the stars with new Discovery Centre

Demco Interiors has completed the design and interior furnishings for the new build Space, Science and Study Centre at The Winston Churchill School, Woking, Surrey.

Shelving and seating

With its vision to ‘open doors to other worlds’, the two floors of the Centre not only include a library but also a Planetarium to provide a focus for the study of astronomy.

The objective for the new Centre was to provide a fully supported space to extend opportunities to students and support the development of study skills, with access to a range of resources and IT. It will also be made available to the community, to provide a fantastic venue for business and leisure events.

Demco worked closely with the school team and also liaised closely with DHP the building design consultants to make sure the interior design was fully blended and integrated into the whole build.

Stuart Phillips, business manager, The Winston Churchill School and senior project co-ordinator for the Discovery Centre Project, said: “It was very important that the new build should contribute to the whole school academic achievement and offer children, across Woking, the opportunity to be engaged in learning. We chose Demco Interiors because they listened during the early development stages and showed that they understood the brief to create a space that would inspire learning and exploration.”

Attracting and engaging students were at the heart of the project; to create a fluid space where they could move freely and seamlessly between areas rather than a structured, linear styled interior.

The goal was to imagine a vibrant space for independent learning where students could decide how they wanted to work, study, research, meet.

The Demco design team set about designing an interior that would be exciting and dynamic but also encourage self-directed work and in particular create plenty of space for written work which had been unavailable in the original school library.

This was going to be a step towards the more adult spaces Demco designs for university library and learning resource students.

In the new ground floor library large tables give students room for individual and group study and also space to move between a small quieter reading area, a bright, vibrant casual seating area, and a reading area with shelving and integrated seating.

Upstairs all eyes focus on the planetarium around which Demco installed white study benching with purple detailing, which was carefully crafted on site by the Demco installation team to fit seamlessly around the curve of the dome.

Flexibility was key with large study tables on castors and space saving, easy storage tilt tops can be easily re-configured for individual or group study or to make room for e.g. exam times, teacher training, community events.

Demco designed and space planned the books and reading areas using their own Boreal Connect library shelving in shades of white and grey. The shelving creates its own statement with bright blue integrated seating and cool fresh white 'feature frame' cladding. Bright orange end of bay display shelves add a pop of colour and complement the orange sofas in the relax zone diagonally opposite.

Although the new building follows the style of the main school with its red brick structure, the interior design allows its own personality to shine through. Colour themes of orange, duck egg blue, orange, yellow and purple create a striking but zen-like feel that students, staff and parents love:

Reactions from users included:“It's more like a university styled space – open and bright with self-directed use of space,” Library Assistant.

I really, really like it – it has an adult feel about it,” Head Girl.

“It’s light and bright and a nice place to be,” Year 7 student.

The school ethos is built around five core competencies – Collaboration, Resilience, Analysis, Ingenuity, Communication and the words are displayed graphically on bright yellow and feature insets throughout both floors of the new building.

“It doesn’t only look great but it also changes the way that students use the library space. Instead of just teacher-led work this space is all about independent learning rather than just lesson focused. It may be research, or reading, or analysis. The design and furnishings scope the space to be more than just lesson focused and allow students to work around the competencies,” said Dan Fisher, Librarian.

Planetarium area

The Discovery Centre fulfils the school’s vision for the project to design, build and run an outstanding facility, that both inspires and furthers the study of space, through science and astronomy and contributes to the whole school academic achievement.

A space that truly inspires students to reach for the stars.


Article supplied by:
Demco Interiors
Tel: 01992 454600

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