Ambience

Figures on the doors leading into the Clore Learning Centre reference the history of the site at Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
Figures on the doors leading into the Clore Learning Centre reference the history of the site at Hampton Court Palace, Surrey. Historic Royal Palaces

The space needs to be welcoming and enticing. The fixtures, fittings, lighting and ambience will speak volumes and give an immediate impression as to whether this is a nursery, a classroom, a creative studio, a learning lab, or a multi-purpose and spirit-lifting environment.

  • A bare room does not give an impression of a cared-for interactive space
  • If on view to the public, what impression does the room give when not in use?
  • How can the space appear lively and stimulating at all times?

Rather than adding permanent displays for an unchanging aesthetic, where possible it works best to let the creative activities be the focal point. Display areas are always desirable, but they are only attractive if displays are well-mounted and if someone has time to maintain them.

Where the room activity is seen by the general public it is a useful window into your organisation’s work, and serves to advertise the programmes on offer to tempt the onlooker to join in or find out more.

Even in shut-away rooms, a glass door panel can add to the openness of what goes on, although this may not be possible in panel doors in historic properties. When the space activity is not on view, a posterstand outside the room with attractive graphics describing the activities on offer can be a simple and attractive way of advertising inclusive programmes.

Rooms do not have to remain immaculate, white, clean and devoid of personality. Every institution is different, with its own characteristics, and the space should reflect those differences and confidently express them.