Hot Corners bring a new dimension to science labs

Innova Design Solutions is proving itself top of the class in laboratory design and installations with its unique Hot Corner concept bringing a new dimension to science rooms and teaching.

The Hot Corner lay-out devised by Innova creates a flexible learning environment which addresses the need to provide both a working classroom and practical laboratory within the same space. Research shows that practical activity time within a laboratory amounts to no more than 40 per cent, making it important that both practical teaching and theory are optimised within the design, which must be flexible enough to meet the requirements of each discipline.

Innova, experts in education interiors, recognised this challenge and has successfully answered it in a range of refurbishments for schools and colleges using its Hot Corner design, which alters the traditional laboratory lay-out of rows of benches leading away from one end of the classroom to one where the teaching position is relocated to the ‘long’ wall.

This allows for shorter lines of communication and a more collaborative approach to learning, with the furniture designed so that all students face forwards towards the teacher for theory lessons. For practical and small-group work, stools can be easily stored away with students able to work around the curved corners of the workbenches.

As well as increased storage capacity and improved circulation around the room, other benefits of the Hot Corner design include flexibility and choice in sink location and the siting of power outlets and gas taps on the front face of the units, making them hard to get at during theory sessions and easy to use during practical lessons. For safety and supervision, gas services connect back to behind the teacher where an auto shut-off unit is located.

The Hot Corner concept has been successfully installed by Innova in numerous projects, including a laboratory refurbishment at West Vision College in Mansfield. A visit to a previous Hot Corner project at Shireland Collegiate Academy in the West Midlands, prompted a re-think to the College’s earlier design. Innova director Melanie Laing said:

“In the end Vision West Nottingham went with a different design from the original tender after seeing what we had achieved at Shireland,”

“Sometimes until people actually see a lab with the Hot Corners design they don’t realise how well it works.

“The proof of the pudding is seeing it in action and hearing how well it works from staff and students at sites where the design has been installed.”