Over the summer of 2019 OHD was thrilled to complete an exciting, education based project at Uppingham School! The project involved refurbishing an existing (girls) boarding house, adding fresh feeling updates to the colour scheme, enhancing a sense of community to bring the girls together and helping to develop nature connections in their spaces. The refurbishment covered bespoke colour schemes, new flooring and window treatments and acoustic considerations for the hustle and bustle of the communal dining area.
During a site visit we surveyed the existing spaces, took photographs and discussed problems and solutions with the staff and students, we found the following problems which we felt we could solve!
- Communal spaces were ineffective in bringing students out of their rooms to socialise.
- Shared space lacked any zoning and therefore a use for the spaces wasn’t clear. This made it difficult for students to make the most effective use of space (e.g. combinations of noisy sociable activity and quiet working spaces in the same room).
- The current interior scheme felt a little dated and the use of colour was off putting to students.
- The existing design wasn’t doing all it could to attract new students and parents to the boarding house and lacked a sense of welcoming homeliness.
Some of our site photographs give a feel of how the boarding house looked and felt!
OHD created a series of colour schemes for each activity zone (several rooms carried out the same function and therefore used the same colour scheme) with sociable and relaxing spaces being predominantly softer shades of dark blue and dusty pink, active communal spaces (for group work) being more energising with pops of vibrant yellow and circulation spaces (which the students had complained were too shocking in their previous yellow) using softer tonal variations of blue. The dining hall was inspired by a campfire in the woods (bringing people together around warmth and food) and where possible, individual study spaces were placed alongside windows to allow students a view onto greenery.
Bedrooms made use of several different colour schemes which aligned with the bedroom size and number of occupants (there were individual rooms for the older students, dorm rooms of four beds and sharer rooms of two beds). We also incorporated a scheme for the day room – which allowed students within the house who weren’t boarding, a homely space of their own to retreat to.
After having carried out the installation we were excited to get lots of great feedback from both staff members and students!
‘It’s so much easier showing prospective parents around now; they can read the use and feel of the rooms without any explanation from us!’
‘We’ve already noticed a difference in questions from prospective parents from general admissions queries to ‘how do I apply to this house’’
‘The house is much less disorientating now, when I step out of a room into the corridor I know right away where I am’
‘We feel much more comfortable in our own spaces…we can tell how each area of the room is supposed to be used’
‘Love the working common room [the co-working space] it really gives us freedom to use the room in a way which suits us which makes it much easier to work’
‘I really love the use of vibrant colours near the windows because it draws you towards the view’
‘I never used to work well in my room. I would always go to the study rooms. But now I work well and feel able to focus in my room. I get easily distracted around others’
‘New house was nobody’s first choice we were all here by default – but now it’s our favourite house’