The Pod Space team are all used to spending time in London as so many of our projects are based in and around the city. On a recent visit, we spent some time at the British Library and were inspired by the collaborative learning spaces. There are quiet reading spaces sitting happily alongside the hustle and bustle of the café and public meeting spaces. Circulation spaces are utilised to provide individual and small group working environments so that there is no wasted space, but the overall feeling is one productivity and collaboration. This inspires a sense of creativity and motivation for the visitor.
Over recent years there has been a shift in the way educational establishments plan their spaces, and the British Library is the perfect model for learning spaces. Collaborative spaces which allow for multiple uses are increasingly what specifiers are seeking to create. Shared areas which will generate conversation and debate can open up the opportunities for teaching and learning.
With this model, all areas of the building can be made use of. As with the British Library, corridors become meeting areas, and café’s and circulations spaces are hubs for individual learning. Furnishings to these areas have been specified for flexibility and mobility to allow for reconfiguration depending on need.
Not only that but there are economic benefits also. Areas of a college, university or school that can be shared across all departments will have less impact on any one budget. This also allows for an increased capacity of use. Many areas in traditionally designed spaces will lie dormant for large periods of time whereas opening up spaces to a variety of uses means greater efficiency and greater value for money. The end result? Motivated students and happy budget holders!