Neeson Cripps Academy

Cultural
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Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Neeson Cripps - exterior
The Neeson Cripps Academy was constructed on a garbage-strewn, vacant lot near the former Steung Meanchey garbage dump. Photography by David Yeow.
Neeson Cripps - courtyard
The interior courtyard provides a safe refuge for recreation and community gathering. Photography by David Yeow.
Neeson Cripps - courtyard
The south wing contains open-air and passively ventilated enclosed classrooms, with shaded outdoor circulation space. Photography by David Yeow.
Neeson Cripps - students
The courtyard is a green gathering space that also helps to manage stormwater on the site. Photography by David Yeow.
Neeson Cripps - entry
The entry is defined by a frieze designed by students depicting Cambodian cultural history and a vision of the future. Photography by David Yeow.
Neeson Cripps - outdoor classroom
Outdoor classrooms offer shaded, flexible learning environments and reduce the energy demand of the building system. Photography by David Yeow.
Neeson Cripps - rooftop
The rooftop sports court is protected by a photovoltaic sunshade. Photography by David Yeow.
Neeson Cripps - courtyard
The raised plinth of the ground level allows active use during localized flooding, and shelter from the sun. Photography by David Yeow.
Neeson Cripps - exterior
Neeson Cripps Academy at dusk. Photography by David Yeow.
Cultural
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Neeson Cripps - exterior
The Neeson Cripps Academy was constructed on a garbage-strewn, vacant lot near the former Steung Meanchey garbage dump.
Neeson Cripps - courtyard
The interior courtyard provides a safe refuge for recreation and community gathering.
Neeson Cripps - courtyard
The south wing contains open-air and passively ventilated enclosed classrooms, with shaded outdoor circulation space.
Neeson Cripps - courtyard aerial
The courtyard is a green gathering space that also helps to manage stormwater on the site.
Neeson Cripps - entry
The entry is defined by a frieze designed by students depicting Cambodian cultural history and a vision of the future.
Neeson Cripps - outdoor classroom
Outdoor classrooms offer shaded, flexible learning environments and reduce the energy demand of the building system.
Neeson Cripps - rooftop
The rooftop sports court is protected by a photovoltaic sunshade.
Neeson Cripps - courtyard
The raised plinth of the ground level allows active use during localized flooding, and shelter from the sun.
Neeson Cripps - exterior
Neeson Cripps Academy at dusk.
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The Neeson Cripps Academy is a school for secondary education in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, built for the Cambodian Children’s Fund. Located in a neighborhood of extreme poverty adjacent to the site of the former Steung Meanchey garbage dump, the school provides high-quality education to 400 of the city’s most disadvantaged children, aged 13-18, with a robust English-language program, STEAM curriculum, and globally-connected learning.

The school building is conceived in two parts. A long south wing is composed of open air classrooms and flexible enclosed learning spaces accessed by outdoor walkways. These rooms are dual aspect and benefit from passive cross ventilation. An intricate bamboo screen and deep overhangs shade the façade. The north wing contains science labs, an art studio, computer lab, film and media room, galleries, multipurpose spaces, and administration offices which are conditioned by highly efficient mechanical systems.  Filtered outdoor air in supplied to all classrooms though energy recovery ventilators, optimizing indoor air quality and boosting learning capacity. A combination of deep vertical and horizontal brise soleil provide exterior shading. The design prioritizes use of daylighting in classrooms and circulation spaces to reduce demand for energy and provide learning benefits to the students. On-site photovoltaics provide a portion of the school’s energy needs, and low-energy lighting and low flow fixtures reduce operating costs. The photovoltaics are integrated into the roof design as a rain and sun shade that protects a multipurpose sports court.

An emphasis on local, natural materials such as terracotta and bamboo ties the school to its context.
Neeson Cripps - classroom
The new school includes climate controlled laboratory space, enabling the school to develop robust STEAM curriculum.

A significant portion of the building is dedicated to flexible gathering spaces designed to encourage strong long-term social networks and collaborative learning among students. Much of the ground level is open to provide a covered gathering space with a visual connection to a large courtyard garden, and to lessen the school’s vulnerability to flooding.

Awards

    • Azure Award for Social Good (2019)
    • SARA NY Design Awards (2018)
    • SARA National Design Awards (2018)
    • Fast Co. Design Awards: Honorable Mention, Social Good (2018)