Gone are the days when all classrooms throughout the country look the same. Now when a new classroom is built, or a space repurposed, form as well as function is top of the consideration list. No longer are learning spaces furnished with hard wooden desks, a large blackboard and standard-issue slate grey carpet. Softer furnishings and colour are being introduced into the classroom to inspire children, to provide a fun and positive learning environment and to create a multi-purpose space that serves the children best.
Chisnallwood Intermediate School
At Christchurch’s Chisnallwood Intermediate School, designer Kyla Davies chose bright, natural colours from the Formica Anniversary Collection to brighten the library and create a more welcoming environment for students.
"The natural colour palette was chosen to bring a feeling of calm, but with an enthusiastic energy," says Kyla.
Colour was used to help define different learning areas, and the modular furniture at different heights allows the students to arrange their work space as needed. Most of all the space has a sense of fun. Seeing the students enjoy the newly refurbished library was Kyla’s favourite element.
The new eight classroom block at Pukekohe’s Valley School was created by Archimedia architect Hamish Cameron and interior designer Liane Owens. Their brief was for a vibrant, modern learning environment that was hard-wearing and easy to maintain. Bright solid colours from the Melteca quality laminated panels collection were chosen to create happy, inspiring spaces that tied into colours found in the school’s logo and community communications.
The scuff resistance, durability and easy clean nature of Melteca made it the perfect choice for cabinetry and drawer fronts. Mucky finger marks will be easily wiped clean and the joinery will withstand years of use from young New Zealanders coming through the classroom.
At Waimairi School in Christchurch an existing entry foyer and cloakroom between two classrooms needed to be repurposed into a shared learning area suitable for individuals or groups. A limited budget and a short timeframe challenged Thinkspace Interior Ltd’s Melanie Blook and Nina Baillie, encouraging them to search for affordable, durable, multi-purpose materials that could be installed quickly and were aesthetically pleasing to both teachers and students.
Having seen and experienced the GIB ReadyLock system at DesignEx in 2014, Bloom and Baillie felt this was the perfect system to incorporate the range of wall finishes they wanted to include in the space, and to complete construction effectively in the short time frame available. Formica AR+ Solid Colours in Clementine from Laminex New Zealand was chosen for its versatility and compatibility with the GIB ReadyLock system. The vibrant hue provides a warm and inviting learning environment for the children.
Incorporating yet another function and learning experience, Formica Magnetic Whiteboard was used to provide not only writeable wall surfaces, but also magnetic surfaces. The use of such surfaces encourages children to interact with their learning environment, as well as being immensely versatile and allowing for flexible lesson planning.
Not just a kitchen benchtop and cabinet supplier, Laminex New Zealand is proud to provide hard-wearing, easy to clean surfaces available in a wide array of inspirational colours and patterns perfect for most applications in the education sector.
Project: Chisnallwood Intermediate School Library Refurbishment, Christchurch
Design: Kyla Davies, Kyla Davies Design
Products used: Formica Aqua Dotscreen and Tangelo Dotscreen
Project Name: Valley School, Pukekohe
Project Brief: New eight classroom block
Architect: Hamish Cameron, Archimedia Group Ltd
Interior designer: Liane Owens, Archimedia Group Ltd
Builder: Robert Cunningham Construction
Joiner: N Cole
Products used: Melteca Memphis Blue, Memphis Green and Sunflower
Project: Waimairi School, Christchurch
Designers: Melanie Bloom & Nina Baillie, Thinkspace Interiors Ltd.
Construction: Angus Ceilings Ltd
Products used: Formica AR+ Solid Colours in Clementine, Formica Glossy White Magnetic Whiteboard, GIB ReadyLock wall panel system