Kolburne School
(click to enlarge)
Lounge furniture system
Map and Indian bedspreads on pin-up boards
Wood ladders for support and hanging plants
New room, new colors
Gary lounging

This growing, family-run boarding school for learning disabled kids in the Berkshires Mountains must be able to add and change its facilities to accommodate higher enrollment and new programs, often in a hurry and with a limited budget.

Joe Iuviene, their architect and the 'I' in 'W.O.I.K.S.' [see 'History'], called in the rest of the gang for an experimental project to design dormitory lounge furnishings that could be reproduced by the maintenance staff in other parts of the complex quickly, with common materials and methods.

Interior decorating is not our strong suit, but we had a few classroom design tricks to impart, such as ledger strips - horizontal wood boards that can support interchangeable decorative pin-up boards, educational posters and maps. They allow the room to change easily, without drilling holes in walls or using scotch tape that rips paint off when removed. The ledgers were also designed to support clip-on back rests for a system of carpeted couches and cabinets that we fabricated with some of the maintenance guys.

The result was two lounges with interchangeable, colorful and functional furniture, built on site by staff labor, in a matter of weeks and with very little money.