Southernsbroadstock has worked with The City of Liverpool College (CoLC) to provide an inspiring new furniture fit-out in time for the start of September 2020.

CoLC aims to improve student retention and perception of the college with their revamped facilities on the Duke Street, Clarence Street, Myrtle Street and Vauxhall Road campuses.

Time for A Change.

Prior to the refurbishment, the CoLC sites felt claustrophobic, aged and tired. Facing a big challenge, CoLC reached out to Southernsbroadstock, knowing we are a top framework supplier and have been on the NWUPC framework for several years. They wanted a new look that would increase student engagement.

Southernsbroadstock were tasked with creating spaces that would showcase the college as a leading offering within the city and the wider region. CoLC wanted to create learning areas where students would want to spend time, and that would make them feel proud to be a member of the college.

Consistent Design.

Each campus has the same type and style of furniture, providing a consistent brand approach across all areas. The colour scheme is also derived from the college’s branding and was developed to work at all sites. The majority of furniture was selected in muted and calm colours to help facilitate peaceful learning environments. However, small bursts of bright colour disseminate an inspirational atmosphere throughout the learning resource centres.

In the large communal spaces and learning resource centres, all of the furniture frames are black and all tops are white to give a consistent view when looking over the area. This also adds to the lightness of the space while minimising the undersides of the furniture and tables.

“Our aim was to create forward-thinking spaces that students would be proud of. We wanted inspirational learning areas where they would enjoy spending time, and we think it turned out great.”

Brian Sheard
Estates Director CoLC

Functional Spaces.

Contractors opened up the college entrance and social areas, aiming for larger, more welcoming, and vibrant spaces for students. Each site had slightly different areas as part of the refurb with particular focus on spaces that enrich the student experience. Namely, social learning areas, breakout spaces, learning resource areas and student progress hubs.

In the learning resource centres, specialist desks, screens, seating and desktop power modules enable convenient access to learning technology and comfortable quiet spaces. Group spaces were fitted with shaped tables and laptop tables as well as spaces for individuals to fit around and enjoy the space. Booths for semi-private meetings and privacy whilst catching up on studies were also installed.

Multi-Purpose Spaces.

In the social learning areas, the tables have fold-in legs, and the chairs can be stacked. Meaning space can be reconfigured for different uses and events. CoLC staff are already leading by example and conducting non-private meetings in the new spaces.

The soft seating chosen by CoLC uses the Agua range of waterproof fabrics in Parody Linen, making the space student proof and perfect for casual dining, meeting and studying.

A Clean Cut Project.

Southernsbroadstock were contacted by CoLC in January 2020 and went through the tender process. After a face to face meeting in Macclesfield where the client was given a full site tour and a chance to look at and feel the furniture, CoLC placed an order in March.

This was an end to end project and Southernsbroadstock held valuable communication with all clients and contractors from the outset to completion. This enabled useful input to the project and great design contributions to the overall look and feel of the spaces. For example, the lighting is aligned with the shape of some of the seating in the main communal meeting space.

Due to COVID19 restrictions, everyone involved in the project had to quickly adapt to new working methods. Teams Meetings was the main communication method for all parties involved. Although, the lockdown was advantageous in some aspects of the project. With no students or staff around, there was an empty building to strip and work in. All furniture and fittings were seamlessly delivered and installed on-site at the beginning of September 2020.

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