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  • i2o & POCCA team

Universities – reviving outdoor space for overall gain



From our base in Cambridgeshire, we’ve been designing, manufacturing and installing structures throughout the UK since 1991. Predominantly focused on supplying tensile canopies and covered walkways to schools and nurseries, we are seeing growing interest from university sites too; with campuses keen to understand how an outdoor structure could enhance its offer. We look at some of the key areas here:

1. New thinking on campus development: Universities are continually having to consider how best to make the most of their space – both inside and outside. It’s important that universities consider campus development as part of their overall future strategy; to create the very best first impression for visitors and potential students as well as to offer the very best experience to those who are on site day to day. We are seeing great interest from universities wanting to create a feeling of ‘inside, outside’, with the development of covered seating and eating areas. A campus canopy can help to make use of what is often classed as redundant space during wet weather, whilst offering shade during hot summer months too. In particular, our Bespoke Amphitheatre Cover offers a unique look to a university’s communal areas; enabling outside usage whatever the weather.

2. Shifting approaches to learning: Today’s businesses are looking to adapt their working environments to increase productivity and motivation from its staff. In the last year, we’ve heard about Microsoft’s new outdoor meeting spaces - and nurseries and schools have long been advocates of evolving their physical teaching space to best suit their students learning methods. Universities can learn from this too.

Across the education sector, we know that outdoor learning plays a huge part in learning success. There’s an interesting opportunity for universities to take that thinking further, and consider how an outdoor canopy could offer a unique approach to its students learning too, by running sessions in a uniquely designed outdoor space.

3. Enhancing sports facilities: Sporting activity is a key part of university life too – but with the UK’s inclement weather often putting a hamper on plans, more and more sports clubs are considering erecting canopies to give them the flexibility they need, whatever the weather. That’s where bespoke pitch covers and amphitheatres play a part. We’re in talks with national bodies to look at how best to enhance sports environments across the country and predict that universities will be the next sector to turn its thinking to this area.

4. Unique offer from i2o to support collaborative learning: We know that today’s students are often on the lookout for projects that they can get involved in, to offer them the experience they need as part of their learning subject. With i2o, there’s a unique opportunity for the UK’s engineering and architectural students to get involved first hand if a university campus is looking to develop a new canopy structure. We would always be open to a conversation with a university and its students as to how we could work together to develop a bespoke structure for a university site; with direct project involvement from the students themselves. Just drop us a line.

If you’re part of a university that’s considering campus redevelopment, sports area enhancements or revived outdoor seating areas, our canopies could be just what you need. Take a look at the range online or get in touch to have a chat.

#university #largecanopy #sportscanopies

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