Everest Community College is one of the latest pieces of interior architecture to demonstrate how inspirational design is now shaping schools for the future.
Like many other 21st century schools, Everest Community College is expected to attract a high level of community use. With its extensive sports facilities, health and fitness suite and dedicated community building, the college will open its doors to both students and local residents.
To engage both students and the community, it was essential that the interior design communicated the right messages to create a sophisticated but inspirational learning environment. Hampshire County Council Architecture and Design Services comments:
"The initial design was based on the concept that each element of the building on the campus is a white block that has been punched into, to expose a colour. For example, if you see a glimpse of green then you are in the science block."
To implement the colour coded wayfinding system, the council's Architectural Department employed the services of Signbox, who had successfully won the tender. Having already worked with Signbox on previous occasions, the Architectural Department felt that they would effectively interpret the design of the signage package and identify some necessary cost savings.
The sign company were tasked with making 500 external and internal signs of a contemporary appearance to successfully create colour coded zoned areas. Neil Devery, Project Director at Signbox, explains how they immediately identified a suitable outdoor wayfinding system.
"For the external areas we used our cost-effective yet functional Monolith signage system. Although this modest system can look traditional with its post and panel, we transformed the signs by introducing coloured digital print to give them a vibrant modern appearance."
Inside the college, the architects wanted to create a startling contrast by using large splashes of bold colours against a fresh white background. Painting features and recesses in colours such as mandarin and pistachio would expose the colour of each block effectively.
To generate an immediate visual impact in the reception area, Signbox produced a large modular directory 1600mm high, with a multicoloured digital print of the floor plan. The wayfinding system introduces the designated colour of each block through graphics and door signs.
Throughout the project, Signbox identified areas where the architects could make a cost saving around the manufacture of the signs without compromising their initial designs.
"The architects wanted to make bold design statements which can be costly especially when screen printing onto large areas of acrylic," explains Neil. "We suggested using MDF for the large solid blocks of colour, for example, the six-foot tall signs on the toilets, and then fixing the acrylic onto the MDF panel."
Everest Community College is now ready for its first intake of students and set to become the heart of community activities. The overall appearance is strikingly different from the institutionalised environments that have been historically created for education. The interior design is independently welcoming and inspiring for both adults and pupils.
The colour coded wayfinding system has created a fashionable image for Everest Community College. By subtly introducing colour into each classroom through furniture and finishing the college presents a more stylish learning environment. The inspirational design effectively demonstrates changing role of educational buildings, which aims to inspire and engage a much wider audience.