Space for Learning

The sinks in the Coach House Education Centre at Orleans House Gallery are easily accessible for wet activities, and can be quickly hidden behind sliding screens when the room is needed for more formal events. Photo Patel Taylor Architectural Practice


A good sink area is possibly the most basic essential, but its importance is very often overlooked.

Aside from its use for art activities, it can be vital for hand-washing, particularly if there are lunches being eaten prior to object-handling, etc. Sometimes architects prefer sinks to be hidden away in a cupboard, prioritising aesthetics over utility. While this is generally not possible for most sites, it can sometimes work in historic houses where there is a requirement or preference for period authenticity: here it usually necessitates a very large cupboard or small adjacent room.

For the majority of organisations, the sink area must be easily accessible and not hidden away. Double-bore drainage is the only way to avoid blockages. Sinks need to be deep enough to fill for soaking stained items. A common problem is specifying a flat draining board for a seamless look, which results in water dripping down onto the floor; a raked drainer solves this.