Headington School, Oxford

Case Study

Headington School, Oxford


Creativity & Innovation Centre, The Hive


The Evertaut team are thrilled to have been a part of a £7.6 million renovation at Headington School, Oxford, the prestigious school famous for notable alumni such as Harry Potter star Emma Watson. Evertaut was honoured to manufacture bespoke lecture theatre seating for a new state of the art facility. Evertaut was approached by Beard Construction to submit a tender to produce the seating for the ambitious new project. The building, named The Hive, would form an integral part of the girls’ education, and as such, the client’s seating requirements were very specific.


The Hive is a hub for cross-curricular learning with an emphasis on sustainability, technology and enterprise.”

  • Headington School


The client had a requirement of 161 lecture chairs. However, the nature of the building meant that a bespoke design package would provide the best chance of fulfilling what was envisaged by the School.  As a result, we presented a series of ideas to the contractor in response to the client’s requirements for the space: to be somewhere that the girls of Headington could pursue individual and collaborative projects that prepare them for the world of work in the future.

Our Aspire Lecture Theatre chairs were selected for the project, with the architect choosing to upholster them in a high quality, wool blend fabric. These chairs were complimented by oak veneer panelling to blend seamlessly with the design of the building, which also used oak veneer to clad the ceiling and walls. After it was confirmed that our Aspire Lecture Theatre chairs met the requirements of the seating specification, we submitted a tender to the contractor for the manufacture, supply and installation of the seats.

Once our tender had been granted as successful, Beard Construction provided Evertaut with a schedule of works to be adhered to, starting first with an initial site survey.


Site Survey

A senior member from the Evertaut team met with Beard Construction in order to plan the best layout for the seating based on the needs of the client. This meeting outlined the client’s specific requirements and dimensions of vital aspects such as the number and size of rows, treads and risers.


With ‘The Hive’ being a new build, and with no rip out required, the team had complete control over the design of the seating for the spacious 182 sqm hall. Frequent and thorough discussions between the Evertaut team, the architect and Beard Construction meant that we could take forward the ideas central to the innovative space that Headington school envisaged and help make this vision a reality.


Seating Plan

As a result of the site meeting, Evertaut took the measurements of the lecture hall and created a seating plan proposal that would make the most efficient use of the space, whilst also meeting other specific requirements as laid out by the architect. As is the case with all of Evertaut’s projects, the team ensured that the hall was accessible to all students and included suitable space for wheelchairs that did not compromise on use, space or style.

A neutral colour scheme was agreed upon to give the lecture theatre a timeless feel and to appeal to the girls of Headington School for years to come. The architect’s decision to upholster the seats in the Camira Mainline Flax, Temple (MLF16) fabric, including the end panels, has promoted a natural, easy and relaxing atmosphere in this creative space. It was also decided that ABS edging should be used to finish the oak veneered writing desks. This helped to create a comfortable and luxurious feel in The Hive that would support the students’ learning.

Headington School intended for The Hive to be a collaborative hub that would “help create the conditions to foster creativity“. As such, fold down desks were installed at the back of every chair to provide plenty of room for notepads, books and tablets. To support this, the design purposely included double sockets and USB points, which were to be installed on every row in a brushed steel finish. Evertaut was asked to update the seating plan to reflect this proposed design and did so accordingly.

Following our final submission of drawings to Beard Construction, all the necessary materials were promptly ordered for delivery in line with the timing in the production schedule. The Evertaut team then remained in regular contact with both Beard Construction and the architect regarding the progress of the construction, so that we could prepare for any delays or changes that might impact the schedule of works.



161 Aspire lecture theatre chairs were manufactured with tread widths and riser heights tailored to the requirements identified by the team during the site survey. The chairs were to be installed in one central block with holes drilled at 500mm centres, whilst the metalwork was fixed to the floor via tread fix method. Also following the design brief, holes were drilled into the metalwork to accommodate the electrical infrastructure. Similarly, holes were also machined into the desks in preparation for the sockets and USB ports to also be fitted by the contractor’s electrician at a later date.



Whilst our production team were busy crafting the seats, our Health & Safety Manager carried out a risk assessment and issued RAMS to the installation team and the contractor. Once this was in place, all parties could come to an agreement on how the work would be carried out both safely and efficiently.

Once the manufacturing of the seats was complete, discussions took place between Evertaut and the contractors to ensure that the site was ready for the seating to be installed. It is because of the close collaboration between Evertaut and the contractors that the schedule of work was completed smoothly and with such efficiency.

Upon arriving at the school for installation, the Evertaut team once again talked through the designs with the contractors to ensure that all parties were happy with the proposed designs, layout and installation of the seats. As all parties were happy with the proposals, our installation team marked out the floor in line with the drawings and began the installation process.


Creativity & Innovation Centre, The Hive at Headington School, Oxford.

The finished hall is an inspirational space, ready for education in the 21st Century. The sumptuous bespoke Aspire Lecture Theatre chairs have created an incredible impact within the hall, as well as a warm and inviting atmosphere, which the students of Headington will be drawn to and thrive off.

Headington Rear Right scaled e1710175255736 Headington Rear Left scaled e1710175208783