‘Iolani School, HI

As one of the largest independent schools in the United States, the ‘Iolani School needed a knowledgeable partner to help them create adaptable spaces that served all 650 of their students. After struggling with a local dealer who could not meet their needs, they turned to Demco for expert interior design and furniture recommendations they could trust.

The design was informed by every teacher’s priorities and a shared vision: a school that encouraged them to explore new learning opportunities across a wide range of disciplines. According to Zachary R. Linnert, Dean of the Lower School, the Demco team was “well-versed in the catalog of furniture options and that expertise saved a tremendous amount of time” in finding the right balance of modern aesthetics, flexible functionality, and long-lasting quality.

In ‘Iolani’s new dance room, mobile markerboards and stage pieces create separate areas for students to explore movement freely. Because the dividers nearly reach the floor, they minimize distractions from neighboring activities. Strong magnetic capabilities keep tools and information accessible throughout the space. In the religion room, mobile shelving defines individual and group zones without sacrificing storage for essential reading materials. Flip-top tables can be nested against the walls to clear the floor.

The unique literary/flex room accommodates both K–4 students and professional adults undertaking continuing education. Adaptable furniture is comfortable for all ages and ample storage keeps materials separate. Plus, ergonomic seating minimizes the teacher’s chronic neck pain.

In one of two new science labs, students rotate in and out often, doing hands-on experiments in groups and as partners. Copious storage space keeps materials from each class organized, and nesting furniture allows the teacher to quickly move from seated work at tables to active lessons. The other lab’s modern industrial-style furnishings can be quickly adjusted for height or repositioned on casters.

The students at the school unanimously expressed “joy, appreciation, and excitement” about the new spaces. Teachers have seen more spontaneous collaboration, greater engagement, and richer class discussions. Overall, Linnert said, “the process with Demco was seamless, easy, and successful from start to finish. I felt like the school was provided the white-glove experience, yet handled by a friend.”

Location: Honolulu, HI
Client: ‘Iolani School
Demco Consultants: Shawna Ley, Learning Environment Consultant; Amber Benesch, Interior Designer 
Population Served: 650
Completion Date: July 2020

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