5 EDU OUni
Milton Keynes, UK

Open University

Architecture for Education

SpaceShaper’s experience in providing architecture for education spans from nursery to higher education and stretches across all sectors. Balance against a knowledge of how best to foster learning in the built environment. We have designed multiple nursery and early year’s buildings. In addition to secondary and higher education buildings, from teaching body offices to flexible learning hubs for student unions.

Education is always changing. However, the constant is that we need spaces to nurture and inspire people. A successful learning environment demands the same care and attention on the inside as to the outside. For this reason, from our first conversations to the client, we will work with you to design environments that encourage collaboration, foster innovation and enhance the student experience. Working together we can provide architecture for education spaces to foster learning and growth.

Education is always changing. However, the constant is that we need spaces to nurture and inspire people. A successful learning environment demands the same care and attention on the inside as to the outside. For this reason, from our first conversations to the client, we will work with you to design environments that encourage collaboration, foster innovation and enhance the student experience. Working together we can provide architecture for education spaces to foster learning and growth.

Flexible & Smart Learning Environments.

The way we view places for education is changing enormously. Especially as we understand the vast differences in how people learn, and with technological innovation now available to assist.  As such we approach all education projects with a view to flexibility and smart working environments. Whether it’s for nursery children to explore the wonder of the lit, tactile and audible worlds of the senses, or at the other end of the higher education spectrum, setting up a hub with informal and formal variations of learning spaces to enable several types of curricular/extra curricula activities to take place in variable working environments.

Within all levels of education, the key is to calibrate the space to retain student’s attention for longer periods of time. Chiefly by setting the right scenarios where ‘blended’ and ‘intentional’ learning/working can take place. This can be done by providing for user diversity and choice through typologies such as sensory environments, touchstone space, desk space, study carrels, classrooms, seminar rooms, resource availability, bookable and informal meeting spaces/rooms, tutorial and mind mapping spaces, common and atrium areas, exhibition spaces and presentation display spaces made for formal or informal ‘events’, as well as formal conference and auditorium spaces of varying sizes.

Use technology integration to achieve flexibility

Smart learning and teaching environments and education platforms are now used from primary level through to higher education. Firstly, flexibility is key throughout; this could be presentation screens to plug into, fitted with microphones and cameras for presentation delivery as well as online review of lectures or presentations for parents.  Secondly, technology is now integrated into space design, where programmes can be available across all spaces through cloud storage. Thus, facilitating a fully accessible and flexible learning environment which promotes work productivity and performance.

We don’t stop at the building demise, we realise the teaching environment continues beyond the internal walls.  When we take on an education project, we will be looking at creating a diversity of learning environments. Consequently, enabling the exploration of various subjects’ syllabus in a variety of spaces both internally and externally.  To sum up, flexibility is a key requirement to ensure the accommodation of varying group learning sizes, and choice in environment is key to aiding different teaching methods.

Low Energy Design

Our in-house low energy designers will look at every project to reduce energy operational costs. In order to reduce what is becoming an enormous overhead for most schools. To that end, we have designed near passive net zero education buildings with BREEAM Excellent ratings and can assist in making your project achieve similar.

The world of teaching is one of innovation and improvement, which is always striving for positive impacts on students’ learning. In order to respond to this need for students and teachers to have a high degree of engagement, challenge, enthusiasm and joy, the physical environment and built spaces are key to support this requirement.  We understand how to design spaces that deliver this model, in unison with changing technology to facilitate learning and teaching.

RIBA Chartered Architects
Environmental Design (low energy) specialists
‘Prince’ qualified Project Managers