COOKFOX unveils design for new Academy in Cambodia

Sharon McHugh
Wednesday 12 Aug 2015

Wasteland in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to be transformed into a new school for kids

When it is completed in 2017, the new high performance school for the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) in Phnom Penh will provide Cambodia’s most impoverished children with a high quality education. This will include English, science, engineering, arts, and mathematics as well as access to the latest digital technologies and global connectivity through eLearning. 

Designed by New York City-based COOKFOX Architects, which donated its services, and gifted to the CCF by the Velcro Companies, the Neeson Cripps Academy incorporates many sustainable features to reduce water and energy usage and provide a healthy learning environment. 

Programmatically the building is divided into two wings. The long, east-west oriented wing will house open-air learning spaces that will be naturally ventilated and shaded on the south by a bamboo screen. The north-south wing will contain the school’s science and technology spaces. It will be cooled by a high efficiency mechanical system and shaded by deep terra-cotta fins. A significant part of the five-storey building will be dedicated to flexible gathering spaces that will encourage collaborative learning and serve as a meeting space for the wider community. At ground level the building will have a covered outdoor gathering space that will connect to a large courtyard garden. A vegetated roof that will reduce solar gain and stormwater and features a covered multipurpose athletic court that completes the project. 

To tie the building to the region, COOKFOX has incorporated a patterned design into its concrete facade that is inspired by traditional Cambodian Khmer textiles.  


Sharon McHugh

US Correspondent 

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