KODECOON is a school which teaches coding to the kids. Drawing inspiration from the name, the school is designed as a cluster of cocoons, incubating the students through metamorphosis into butterflies.
The project is conceived during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. With a very limited budget, frugal innovation must be applied to realise the ambitious brief.
The project site is housed in a commercial building with both shopping and office components. The challenge is further amplified by the fact that the total rented space is split into two units divided by a common corridor leading to other units. On top of that, maximising the numbers of classrooms and seating has always been top priority.
One of the design intents was to “stitch” the two units to appear as one, turning the drawback into an advantage to increase the frontage area of the school. In order to achieve that, the external walls of the two units (fronting the common corridor) must share a single design language.
There is a clear intention to express each carefully crafted cocoon (classroom) as a unique one. This is achieved both internally by means of distinctive room colours and externally by the different wall treatments on the outer skins. The cocoons would appear to “intersect and intertwine” with one another, creating an eclectic visual effect. However, the outer skins of the cocoons would share the same wood grain wallpaper to achieve homogeneity at the same time.
Each cocoon would have strategically placed cut-outs (glass windows) and wall alcoves (for eventual marketing posters), reflecting the same coded colour for each room from the common areas. The depth of each cut-out is made even more obvious with many of the outer skins sloping in a different direction. Internally, frugal thinking kicks in when the kinks and undulations in each cocoon are left intentionally untreated to create some point of interest when the giant numbering rolls over them like graffiti art. Movable (raw plywood) teaching pod is also designed to sit in each cocoon to save space, allowing more classroom space.
Floors are basic industrial cement screed which provide a strong contrast to the warm wood grain on the walls. The original low-budget grid fibrous plaster ceilings are given the “cheese” treatment with carefully placed circular cut-outs with LED panels to give maximum visual impact without breaking the pocket!