Designing schools and universities for student wellbeing

Cleeve School

Our education and interior design teams have worked on hundreds of projects for a range of education settings, from nurseries to universities. Every project is varied, aiming to meet the needs of different types of students, but one thing that links every project is the aim of boosting student wellbeing. Whether it’s the type of spaces, how they look, or how they are accessed, there are so many ways in which design can improve a student’s learning experience.

Hartpury University and Hartpury College Graze

More than just learning spaces‍

The main reason we go to school, college, or university is to learn, but there is much more to the educational experience than this. Learning goes beyond the classroom and includes collaboration, socialising, practical experience, and more. We recently delivered the new Graze building at Hartpury University and Hartpury College, a catering hub that also includes social and informal study spaces. Graze provides a sociable, comfortable space with a range of collaborative areas.

At Cirencester College, the new Digital Skills Centre and T Levels Building include a range of flexible spaces, so students can collaborate in or out of the classroom. Every student is different, so a range of learning settings is important to cater for different styles of learning.

Cirencester College Digital Skills Centre

Connection with nature

It’s widely accepted that nature benefits mental health and boosts wellbeing, and there are plenty of ways to connect students to the outdoors. At Cheltenham College Nursery, children can enjoy a woodland setting within a town centre. A curved timber structure provides a dramatic roof canopy that blends indoor and outdoor spaces and offers plenty of areas for children to explore and play. The floor-to-ceiling glazing and doors also help to seamlessly connect the inside to the outside, and the interior includes a soft palette of materials, furniture and finishes inspired by nature.

Cheltenham College Nursery

At the other end of the school spectrum, Stroud High School Sixth Form is another of our projects that incorporates plenty of plants and natural materials, helping pupils to feel connected to their school’s semi-rural setting.

An inspirational setting

A classroom is so much more than four walls and some desks; it should be a place of inspiration. Our interior design team creates spaces in keeping with the building’s history, setting, and purpose, with the aim of creating practical yet attractive spaces. When installing modern learning equipment into older buildings, it’s important to respect the building’s history. When renovating the Grade II* Dulverton House at King’s School, we protected and restored original features, incorporating them into the design. Classrooms have modern fittings, such as interactive screens, but students are surrounded by the building’s history and its character.

King's College Dulverton House

In contrast, a brand-new building can inspire students in different ways. Cirencester College’s new Digital Skills Centre is bright, modern, and flexible, utilising state-of-the-art equipment – perfect for those learning about the future of technology.

Accessible spaces for all

An educational setting should be accessible to everyone who needs it and allow for different learning styles. Furthermore, excellent facilities should be available to all children, regardless of any additional needs they may have. All of our education projects have been designed with accessibility in mind, and this is even more important when designing facilities for special educational needs schools.

St Rose's School

Our work at St Rose’s School in Stroud saw a huge improvement in residential accommodation, providing fully accessible yet homely bedrooms, along with landscaping to provide outdoor learning spaces.

To find out more about our education projects, contact the team at or 03333 405500.

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