Education environments have changed with the times. Gone are the days of the sterile schoolhouse with simple chalkboards and dull wooden desks; schools are increasingly recognizing the importance of a well-designed setting to stimulate students and staff alike.
Recently, Arborite’s impressive selection of laminates played a key role in the new Elementary School and Child Care / Family Resource Wing for the Avon Maitland School District. Cleverly implemented by leading firm Marklevitz Architects Inc, Arborite products enlivened the school to create a dynamic setting in which to learn, play, and grow.
The Elementary School, located in Listowel, Ontario, was the third school designed by Marklevitz Architects for the Avon Maitland District School Board. The Marklevitz Architects team used their prior experience at the other schools and wove their notable design elements into the Elementary project. This school’s theme is a playful plaid, a nod to the Ulster Scots who first settled in the Listowel area in the late 1800s. Using this as a leading inspiration in their design, Marklevitz Architects set about to create a welcoming space with a focus on environmentally friendly products that enforced the subtle plaid motif throughout the school.
The first use of Arborite is found on the school’s lockers. Marklevitz Architects’ Megan Schaff explained, “There are 182 lockers installed for six classrooms. The corridors are long, and we wanted to break up the length by creating a bit of a random pattern with the lockers.” Enter Arborite. The design team used Arborite’s Twill design to inject texture, color, and pattern into the hallway by using the material as the locker doors. Two shades of grey, Silver and Cloudy, along with an off-white shade, Organic, complement the patterned porcelain floor tile and provide the rich neutral backdrop favored by the school. Although neutrals are the base, Arborite’s Cinnamon and Marigold Twill patterns were randomly interspersed to punch up the hallway further and provide contrast to the classic shades of grey.
“There are 182 lockers installed for six classrooms. The corridors are long, and we wanted to break up the length by creating a bit of a random pattern with the lockers.”
Above, from left to right: Marigold Twill, P-384 · Organic Twill, P-380 · Silver Twill, P-381 · Cloudy Twill, P-382 · Cinnamon Twill, P-383
Continues Schaff, “We specifically chose Arborite for the lockers because the brand offers a variety of colors in a single pattern. The Twill design mimicked the weave of fabric similar to a plaid, and the various colors act as an identifier for each student to find their specific locker down the corridor.”
Arborite extends into the classrooms as well. Inukshuk Grey, a crisp classic color with subtle texture, is used for all countertops. The hue mimics the natural polished concrete floors throughout the building and serves as the base for every classroom, allowing teachers and students to contribute their own personality to the spaces.
Inukshuk Grey, P-344
Inukshuk Grey, P-344
Laminate was a natural choice for an education setting, according to the Marklevitz Architects designers. Notes Schaff, Arborite’s high pressure laminate is “...cost effective, low maintenance, and durable, while still offering a variety of design options.” Arborite products hold up to the extreme wear and tear that comes with the natural traffic of a school (particularly an elementary school). Schaff continues “We have found that laminate is heat and impact resistant, and the matte finish is more scratch resistant than other surfaces or finishes.” In addition to these high standards, Marklevitz Architects follows the principles of LEED construction. All Arborite laminates are GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified and meet these rigorous requirements.