Oundle School is a co-educational boarding and day independent school located in the ancient market town of Oundle in Northamptonshire. The original Design and Technology department has been extended and exhaustively refurbished, retaining the ‘large projects’ space for which Oundle is famous, and adding two design studios for virtual modelling and prototype development, acoustically segregated from the practical facilities. There is now an advanced manufacturing suite adjacent to the design laboratory, enabling high-tech processes such as metallic/UV cured polymer 3D printing and robotics to be deployed. In addition to the large projects space, five open-plan workshop bays enable pupils to be taught in small groups sharing fixed machinery, whilst new dedicated classrooms for design and theory are easily accessible from the workshops.
Nortek were invited to supply much of the technical furniture requirements for the newly extended and refurbished Patrick Engineering Centre. Nortek were chosen by the Head of DT Jon Baker for this prestigious project. Jon had experience of Nortek furniture within a his role at another school and the technology and ICT furniture had lasted so well that Jon knew it would be a natural fit for the multi-million pound investment at Oundle which took place during 2015-16. Jon also had some very bespoke requirements which he knew that unlike other UK suppliers Nortek, being manufacturers in their own right, would be able to design and fabricate to custom fit the spaces.
Bespoke six person craftwork benches and steel topped metalwork benches were purpose designed for the large design and making spaces. The supply of dedicated BOTT tool storage cabinets integrated into Nortek’s own range of furniture complemented each area and provided tool storage that was both secure and practical. Simple additions incorporated into bench designs for the storage of rolls of vinyl and perspex sheet helped to keep spaces neat and tidy.
Two CAD design studios were fitted out with cantilever desks around the perimeter of each room with Plectrum collaborative learning tables in the centre. This allowed for both group teaching of 3D modelling and individual PC study and practice at the same time.
“The Nortek team provided us with the ideal balance of bespoke and customised furniture solutions to equip our new design, engineering and technology facility. From the department’s design studio workspaces to the workbenches in our fabrication bays the quality of their work and the associated installation was first class. We as a faculty are delighted with the final outcome, as are the pupils who use The Patrick Engineering Centre at Oundle School”.
Jon Baker – Head of Design, Engineering and Technology, Oundle School.