The new entrepreneur program at Carmel has provided an opportunity to refurbish an existing learning space, the library mezzanine, to create an innovative new learning space. Works on the zone will commence in the coming months, with the aim of completion before the end of the year.

The School has engaged Bob Britton, Principal and Lead Designer at Evoke, to complete the project. Bob has a wealth of experience in the service arena with a focus on creating public spaces. With over 40 years in the design space, Bob had a lot of experiences to draw on when planning the new space at Carmel.

“The most important consideration was to provide not only a learning space, but an environment that fosters engagement between students,” he said. Because the curriculum for this program is so unique and it will be taught differently to other courses at Carmel, the classroom needed to be different, fit-for-purpose and create more of an independent, adult learning environment. “This space will be akin to something you might recognise from the business world, or from a TAFE or university setting, where students will be more self-directed and less teacher-driven,” Bob said.

While all spaces need to comply with the relevant codes, and need to be ergonomically designed, you can have a bit of fun with a school learning environment refurbishment. “This space will be more vibrant, colourful and quite eye-popping when compared to other traditional classrooms,” Bob says. The colours of the space are tonal in base, with a subtle orange as the centrepiece. While the importance of colour theory in design is still debated amongst professionals, Bob is confident that the vibrant orange and tonal greys in the carpet, designed to blend to a nice pop, will be stimulating but not distracting for students.

Bob’s favourite feature of the new classroom is the auditorium space. “It will be a very attractive feature of the learning space and complement the excitement generated by the ‘pitches’ made in this space,” he said. Bob also loves the natural light that streams in through the high windows.

Like all plans made in 2020, there have been some delays with the refurbishment of this space. Originally slated for completion by the start of Term 3, it now looks more like being completed during Term 4. While it will only disrupt the space for two weeks when it is installed, there is much work to be done off-site with building the furniture. Work on preparing the space has already begun, with staff sorting and rehoming books and other archival material found upstairs in the library.

Like the program itself, the refurbishment is something of a pioneering experience for Bob. “Because the program is new, we’ve had to make educated guesses at what the students and teacher will need. I’m sure that this space will work well, but there is much excitement in designing for something totally new to the School. It makes for an enjoyable challenge.”

Please continue to check our website for updates to the Carmel Entrepreneur Program and the incredible new teaching and learning space that will be its home, and take a look at a video of the new learning space design.

Video credit: Shona Paully, Evoke Interior Design