How Incorporate Movable Wall Panels into College Campuses

College and university campuses are experiencing a design revolution. Where rows of near-identical classrooms and massive lecture halls once dominated college campuses, bright and airy tech-enabled spaces are taking their place today.

Inspired by Silicon Valley, designers and architects are hyper-focused on creating open, collaborative spaces where creative ideas can flow freely—and college campuses are no exception.

The idea is that buildings with open designs create opportunities for productive run-ins. Wide, daylit staircases and hallways encourage students to linger between classes and appointments, increasing the likelihood of unexpected encounters.

Today, movable wall panels and glass partitions allow designers to create dynamic spaces where students can thrive. The panels can be integrated with video screens and whiteboards to further enhance learning and create livelier, more interesting spaces.

As the Founding Dean and Vice Provost at Cornell Tech told the New York Times, “Being in bigger interactive spaces encourages expansive thinking, while being in a box of a room encourages box thinking.”

Flexible Spaces Boost Student Performance

Frank Gehry’s Stata Center at M.I.T. is a good example of the movement for open-space design. The Stata Center replaced M.I.T.’s Building 20, which is famous for the creativity and collaboration it inspired. Gehry’s goal was to recreate that synergetic energy.

Some schools, like York University in Toronto, are restructuring not only their physical spaces to encourage brainstorming and collaboration, but also their curricula. Rather than enduring large lecture courses on basic science in their first year, students of the Lassonde School of Engineering work alone or in small groups on a “passion project” during their freshman year. They learn, tinker, and study in labs, active learning classrooms, and informal lounges equipped with IT-integrated furniture, rather than in traditional classrooms and lecture halls.

Is there merit to the idea that flexible spaces can improve academic performance? At least one study shows there is.

The study looked at 153 schools in the U.K. and found that three elements of classroom design—naturalness, stimulation, and individualization—positively impacted student performance, sometimes dramatically.

Classrooms with plenty of natural light that were also visually stimulating and allowed students to move freely and take ownership over the space improved academic performance in reading, writing, and math by 16 percent.

Here are 7 clever ways colleges and universities can use movable walls, glass partitions, and sliding glass doors to create dynamic spaces for students, faculty, administrators, and visitors.

1: Create separate classrooms.

table and chairs set for classroom

Student enrollment can change significantly from one semester to the next, creating more demand for classrooms—but remodeling to create additional classrooms isn’t always financially feasible or practical.

Glass dividers with sliding or swinging doors can help you create additional classrooms and make use of a large space more efficiently in higher enrollment years. In lower enrollment years, classrooms with movable walls are a good alternative to lecture halls, which can swallow up a smaller group and take away from student experiences.

2: Construct discrete study compartments.

From single-person cubbies to group study pods, privacy wall panels are ideal for custom-designed study areas. They provide students respite from noise and distractions, and can be as low- or high-tech as needed—with built-in charging stations, flat-screen monitors, and other integrated technology.

3: Section off space in auditoriums.

Whether you need to build VIP seating or a prep area for guest speakers and performers in a large or small auditorium, glass partitions can help you create discrete spaces.

4: Enclose lobbies.

Use movable wall partitions to enclose lobbies and control the flow of human traffic into libraries, performing arts centers, and administration offices. Create separate “booths” as needed—whether it’s an information desk or a check-in/registration area.

5: Establish separate work areas within administration offices.

Open office layouts are extremely popular today, but they have their drawbacks, including reduced privacy and increased noise and distractions. Glass partitions are an ideal solution to quickly and cost-effectively creating private spaces within administration offices.

6: Divide space in libraries and student centers.

Silence is a must in library common areas; use partitions to create separate computer stations or study areas, section off certain areas, and create meeting spaces.

Students need privacy when discussing academics and other potentially sensitive subjects with administrators—glass partitions can help ensure student and visitor privacy.

7: Construct conference rooms.

No need to bring in a construction crew if your campus needs additional conference rooms and meeting spaces. Movable wall partitions are a flexible solution to quickly and affordably create additional conference rooms.

Space Plus: Helping Schools Create Unique Spaces for Learning and Collaboration

The modern university campus needs state-of-the-art solutions, and Space Plus, a division of The Sliding Door Company, provides them.

Space Plus has installed interior door solutions at hundreds of educational facilities, including California State University at Northridge (CSUN), Bay Area Tech School, Compton Unified School District Office, and USC Davis School of Gerontology.

Our glass room dividers and swing doors let light in, while our high-quality materials and sturdy construction ensure student and faculty safety. Sliding glass doors and glass walls offer flexible solutions for colleges, universities, art institutes, music institutes, and many other education centers.

Choose clear or semi-transparent glass, depending on whether you want to maximize privacy or enhance transparency and accountability. Whatever your needs, you can design your own custom doors, and we’ll manufacture them to meet the specifications of each project.

View our gallery for inspiration and learn more about our room divider and sliding glass door solutions for educational environments here.


The Hottest Interior Design Trends for Salons and Spas in 2019

In our increasingly stressful and disruptive world, spas and salons provide much-needed sanctuary for couples and singles, overworked parents, and busy professionals alike.

And it’s a lucrative enterprise. In 2017, spas in the U.S. pulled in $17.5 billion in revenue, while salons took in an impressive $63 billion.

We take a peek at interior design trends for 2019 that put the “wow” and “ahh” factors in spas and salons.

Salon Interior Design Trends

  • Metallics: Metal textures work well with a variety of color palettes and add a touch of playfulness, depending on how they’re used. Choose matte finishes like satin nickel to add sophistication or glossy finishes like polished copper and stainless steel to add glamour.
  • Classic Black and White Palette: Black and white are sophisticated, gender-neutral, and timeless. Complemented by metal fixtures, this color scheme is a safe bet for a renovation that never goes out of style. Harkening back to the swinging 1920s, this art deco-inspired salon features a classic white and black tile floor that draws in the eye and adds depth to the space.
  • Pops of Color: Bursts of color add flair, especially to minimalist décor. Choose neutral colors for walls and flooring and add pops of color to draw in the eye and highlight special salon features. These lipstick red salon chairs by Takara Belmont will make guests feel like a queen (or king).
  • Tech-Friendly Waiting Areas: Technology is impacting every aspect of our lives, and salons and spas are no exception. An app- or computer-based booking system is a must. Clients simply expect to be able to book online today. Equipping your waiting area with WiFi internet access and adding charging stations throughout the space are other ways to keep clients content.

Spa Interior Design Trends

glass wall slides in a hair salon

  • Hammams: Nostalgia for old ways of healing—especially in our turbulent times—is making a comeback. Hammams, public baths inspired by Roman and Turkish traditions, are reviving socialization as part of the bathing ritual. Today, community baths are combined with contemporary spa services, like hydrotherapy and skin exfoliation treatments.
  • Cold Plunge Pools: These small, Jacuzzi-sized pools are increasingly popular in spas today. With chilled water around 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit, cold plunge pools are refreshing after a sweat-inducing steam or sauna. The alternating hot/cold temperatures boost heart rate, aid circulation, and stimulate the body and mind.
  • Water Features: Few things are as soothing as the sound of trickling water. Spas today are incorporating water features like fountains and waterfalls into every nook and cranny of the facility—from restrooms to massage rooms.

Space Plus: Helping Spas and Salons Expand Client Experience

Space Plus, a Division of The Sliding Door Company, builds glass room dividers, privacy walls, and interior sliding doors to help enhance client experience at beauty salons and spa establishments. Our interior sliding door solutions have been used by leading spas, including Burke Williams, Salon Suites and more.

Our glass interior walls lend themselves to a free-flowing design and create a sense of spacious elegance. High-quality glass lets light pass from room to room, while durable aluminum frames come in a variety of finishes and sophisticated designs. Choose from clear semi-transparent or opaque glass, depending on your needs.

Our experts will help you custom design your own interior glass partitions, room dividers, frameless glass barn doors, swing doors, and privacy walls to fit the design needs of your spa or salon.

View our gallery for inspiration and learn more about our lifestyle establishment interior glass door solutions for salon and spas here. Space Plus also provides over 26 convenient showrooms across the United States, Canada and the Philippines. Schedule your free showroom consultation today.