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Storage as Display

How campuses are saving space by putting storage in plain sight.

January 7th, 2020 - 2 min read

The word “storage” typically conjures up images of dark rooms full of clunky, utilitarian shelving. Storage is the kind of thing most campuses want to hide away in a back room so that no one has to look at it. But hiding storage away means finding the square footage for a separate storage space – something in short supply on most campuses. It also means items might not be stored in the most convenient locations for those who need access to the storage, especially because storage is usually the last consideration when buildings are designed.

Solution – Storage in plain sight

Here are four ways your campus or higher ed clients can bring storage front and center without sacrificing the aesthetics of your spaces.

1. Day-Use Lockers

Day-Use Lockers can help make better use of underutilized hallway or atrium spaces in academic buildings, student centers, and libraries by offering students a place to stash their belongings and charge electronics. Add integrated digital screens to display scrolling announcements or university branding, add a work surface or table to allow for informal gatherings and spontaneous meetings, or integrate seating where students can study between classes. Choose a laminate finish that blends with the vibe of the space for a sleek and multi-functional way for students to store belongings.

campuse student secure storage
campus archive collection museum cabinets

2. Research collections as display

Sure, you can throw research collections into a lab back room that’ll quickly become disorganized and overcrowded…or you can integrate display into the storage and show off the incredible work of your faculty and students. At Arizona State University, these unique, museum-grade cabinets serve the dual purposes of keeping meteor collections protected and secure while allowing visibility into the unique collection. These are a great option for wide hallways or atrium spaces in academic buildings.

Get more ideas for using campus spaces creatively by downloading our Campus Design Trend Guide.

3. Incorporate lighting

Studies have shown that lighting greatly affects learning, productivity, and memory, which makes it a powerful factor in campus building design. But how can you bring light into inherently dim spaces without knocking out walls? With shelving! Hear us out. Although shelving is often a large fixture blocking the natural light, it can actually be a great way to bring a light, airy feel to a dark library.

campus intergrated energy efficent lighting

Mount Royal University Library tackled their dark shelves by installing raceway frames directly onto the library shelves. Not only did their lighting solution provide adequate lighting to illuminate the shelf contents, but the design of the shelves kept the aesthetics of the library top-of-mind. Shelving doesn’t have to be an eyesore!

university creative storage solutions

4. Branding and design details

Like the lighting in the example above, other design details can help integrate storage with the overall style and architecture of your campus or even make it a centerpiece of your design.

End-panels can be customized in myriad ways – wood to match a historical building, recycled materials to help achieve sustainability goals, university branding to help convey your institution’s values.

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