A recent trend in academic construction is the shift from traditional classrooms to a focus on flexibility as campuses are reconfiguring and building new spaces that meet the often-changing needs of different areas of study.
Through the pandemic, many institutions realized that traditional classrooms were less critical than lab and research spaces for in-person learning. And while the shift away from building static, conventional classroom spaces began pre-pandemic, schools and universities are continuing to adapt to meet evolving training and development needs, especially in the fields of science and technology.
These flexible spaces are designed to be easily transformed to match the layout and equipment requirements of varying disciplines and have been one of the top priorities for our academic clients. A few examples of projects Windover recently completed include the Bolles Innovation Space at Belmont Hill School and the Weissman Foundry at Babson College.
Over 100 years old, the Bolles House at Belmont Hill is now home to the school’s new innovation lab. The 2,400 square-foot renovation optimized the space to meet the needs of different departments, including science, robotics, mathematics, and technology. The new area features an Innovation and Robotics Lab that includes a 12’ by 12’ Murphy Bed-style, a fold-down Robotics Court, and a full-height interior glazing wall including a Renlita motorized door system that allows for more spacing options. High-end casework and steel countertops provide ample storage allowing different classes to use the space throughout the academic year.
The Weissman Foundry at Babson College was built to create a space that could be used by multiple disciplines among three universities. The Foundry is a new 10,000 square-foot open-door design studio inspiring transdisciplinary collaboration between students of Babson, Olin, and Wellesley Colleges to advance new or existing projects. It includes a creative studio, think tank, media lab, performance space, and wood shop and provides access to workbenches, traditional tools, advanced fabrication equipment, mixed reality, and robotics. The complex MEP/HVAC infrastructure includes moveable fixtures and devices, high power loads, and complex ductwork connections.