School & University Floors

Sara Miller
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Designing a university or school is one of the most complex endeavors. Considerations need to be made about school restrooms, entrance, administrative offices, classroom space, hallways, student lounges/cafeteria spaces, and even outdoor spaces.

Design Considerations

Connect with the pros: Whether you are a district administrator for a public K-12 school or a college president for a private, for-profit college, connect with an architecture or building design firm that specializes in education construction or remodeling.

Design style: Selecting a design style for any space is one of the first steps that should be made in any construction or remodeling project.  Most schools and universities select a traditional style, though progressive/art schools choose a more contemporary feel. Regardless of what design style you choose, make sure you select a style that offers utility for both the students and the school’s administrators.

Master planning: Building and classroom adjacencies are the big push as of late for schools and universities, as noted by an associate at Cunningham Group in Minneapolis. Overall consideration should be made to what rooms and buildings should go where to organize overall traffic patterns.

Construction logistics: If you are remodeling an existing school or university, consider the logistics of the construction. Prepare signage informing students of construction, select alternative walking routes or “meeting/classroom” spaces, communicate with teachers on all proposed construction, and barricade off construction zones.

Material Considerations

Your material considerations will differ depending on the age range your school or university will serve and the overall design aesthetic you are looking to achieve. Flooring should be easy to clean and durable in most areas. Wall coverings should be simple and functional.

Any school needs to be equipped with the following furnishings, according to

  • Bike racks
  • Lockers
  • Bollards
  • Assembly points
  • News rack and podiums
  • Trash and recycling bins
  • Seating and tables

Intelligent Design

A school or university’s exterior design is dually important to interior design. The exterior of a school or university should be well lit with building spotlights, pole lights, and wall-hung lights. The landscape surrounding the building can supplement the building’s overall beauty as well and hardscape should be created for ample walking room for the students.

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