Exciting New Spaces for Hillcrest Students

With a stylish, clean design punctuated by bright colours and inspirational text art, the Study Room and Common Room at Hillcrest Secondary School’s newly built Sixth Form Centre manage to delight even the trendiest of clients: teenagers.

Our Design Centre, which has worked with Hillcrest International Schools on other projects, was approached to help create unique spaces for the school’s A Level students, who at 17 to 19 years old are preparing to transition to university. The Study Room and Common Room are exclusively for the use of these older students, and had to cater to their needs.

To make sure that those needs were met, the Design Centre team liaised with students and teachers at the school, according to Paulina Raguz Macksoud, who leads the team with her sister Nathalie Raguz Fusillo.

“We spoke to them about what they needed and we tried to establish what the use of the space would be,” Paulina says. “That was really our priority, so that we designed the rooms in the right way, and the students would be able to really enjoy them and use them.”

You can see this thoughtful planning in the Study Room, where the team created several different types of study areas. There are high tables and low tables, to suit different preferences, but also some lounging spaces for students who study best in comfort, with their laptop on a sofa.

The Common Room is also uniquely suited to its use and designed for relaxing and socialising.

“There we wanted to do something a little more intimate, a little more cosy, but still keeping it young and fresh with bright colours like lime,” Paulina explains. “The pool table is there so they can wind down and relax, but we also put a lot of bar chairs around the whole area so they can sit and watch their friends and talk to each other. The idea is to really make communal spaces for interaction.”

The look of both rooms is contemporary and – though we’re not sure how to say it in the latest teen slang – cool. The Design Centre team managed to put everything together in one week, due to a firm deadline set so that the Sixth Form Centre could be officially opened by Dr. Richard Leakey, who was visiting the school as part of the Hillcrest Conversations lecture series.

This quick project completion is all the more impressive considering that nearly all of the pieces used in the rooms are custom made.

“All the tables were custom made, with different surfaces that we selected. We designed all the artwork ourselves, and did all the fabrics, all the upholstery. The sofas were made at our workshop, and the wrought iron pieces – all of it was custom made,” Paulina explains, noting that this is one of the benefits of working with the Design Centre. “We can customise pieces specifically for their use and space. We can also guarantee that everything is going to be made to a certain standard.”

For this project for Hillcrest Secondary School, the Design Centre’s emphasis on interpreting client ideas and styles is clear in the end result.

“We wanted to do something that was quite contemporary,” Paulina says. “Given that Hillcrest is a forward thinking school that is looking to the future, we wanted to do something that celebrates the future.”

For Paulina, the project was also made special by Hillcrest’s past. She attended Hillcrest herself, so returning to design spaces for today’s students was a fun challenge. While things have changed at the school over the years, Paulina noted that some things are universal. “Teenagers want to have their own space, and the fact that it’s a nice calm environment is really good for them.”

Learn more about the Design Centre and our services here, and visit our Grand Showroom and Experience Centres to shop collections carefully selected by our designers to help anyone put together a stylish, coordinated look.