Stirling University and INTO, an educational development specialist, worked together to create a facility for international students. Focused on the skills they needed to build prior to undergraduate study.
A challenging, intensive time for students, to take on board cultural, linguistic and methodology differences. Morgan Stewart Interiors were commissioned to furnish a building with educational furniture which would provide inspiration.
Design & Planning
Part of motivating students would be encouraging free association, amongst themselves, with staff, or visitors. A key aspect when planning reception, lecture theatre and cafe spaces on the ground floor.
The same principle needed to apply to the two upper floors, an interesting mix of social, teaching and office spaces. Built to give a feeling of flow, rather than cloistered academia, deserving furniture to match.
We liaised with the building designers and university staff to ensure mutual understanding, before beginning an enjoyable project.
As the first gallery image shows, students at Stirling have great views outside, we wanted them to feel as comfortable inside.
A later image shows part of the cafe furniture arriving, which we naturally unpacked and laid out. An adaptable, social space amongst others purpose built:
Breakout Areas – A significant feature of this building, ranging from cosy meeting areas, to great spots for people to rest a while and chat.
IT Spaces – Often incorporated into social areas, good use of space to meet a brief need, or for longer study.
Classrooms – As the images show, again adaptable. Sturdy yet mobile furniture chosen to allow varying arrangements to be quickly put in place.
Staff Facilities – Carefully thought through office furnishing, along with a useful area to prepare for the day ahead.
Staff storage cupboards are shown in one of the images, constructed in an unusual way. All equal size, nobody has to have the small cupboards you normally see at the top. Seems a small detail but added with many more, makes a difference to educational life.
Neither should we claim all the credit for a project which worked well, from the areas mentioned, to reception, to teaching and relaxation spaces. Listening to knowledgeable staff and stakeholders helped us greatly.