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Flexible space with a traditional ethos

St Ambrose College : Hale Barns

How do you evolve a learning space to offer maximum flexibility? The key is to radically adapt what’s already there.


St Ambrose College boasts an enviable central space providing easy access to teaching areas, dispensing with the need for internal corridors. We designed bespoke furniture into the upper levels of the space, allowing staff areas, library and ICT facilities to overlook the atrium.


So how did Space Zero enhance the learning experience? By giving teachers the best possible space in which to teach. Each subject cluster carried its own signature through colour and use of furniture, while an open-plan teaching environment was built with collapsible, folding walls. Drawing on latest technologies, flexible teaching solutions were put in place to empower teachers to adapt their space for different group sizes.

The integration of Navis flexible STEM system, for example, an automated drop down system, enhanced  study by switching functionalities in a matter of minutes, changing science lessons from wet to dry.


Responding to a very specific brief, we threaded the colours of each of the houses through the interior design. With flexibility the key requirement, we worked closely with the school to develop a bespoke table design system that provided options for learning individually, in pairs, groups or large classes.

“We wanted something which gave the school a new look whilst also retaining the Catholic ethos at its core. Space Zero did this perfectly. Most notable was the team’s enthusiasm for the design and their positivity throughout the process – they were able to convert our ideas into tangible designs. The result is superb.”

Donna Howard, Head Master’s PA and Office Manager Saint Ambrose College.