Google Code Next is an energetic and inspirational space for students to learn about computer science and problem solving. In need of an entertaining and educational space within Google’s Manhattan campus that would appeal to the younger tech-savvy generation, Google Code Next tapped HLW to bring its future-forward vision to life. The 6,000-square-foot Code Next space––intended specifically to bring computer science education to historically underrepresented students––was designed to foster learning, tinkering and engagement through the local community and Google network.
Serving as both the architect of record and the interiors lead for the new space, HLW created an energetic and inspirational tech lab reflective of Code Next’s mission. The design and graphic concept was rooted in the idea of an “unfinished coloring book,” which recalls Code Next’s mission of providing a foundation for students to paint their own future. The overall design scheme in the Google Code Next space is centered around the need for an inspirational retreat for minority students to enjoy learning. The simple, colorblocked palette, open collaborative spaces and innovative technology incorporated throughout the design fulfill all the desired elements of a high-level educational facility.
Stepping out of the vestibule on the lower level, visitors will walk into an open concept living room that includes a spacious micro-kitchen for events or catering. On this level, students also have access to the maker space equipped with 3-D printers and laser cutting machines. The lounge area includes a large communal table and smaller tables to encourage collaboration amongst students and Code Next staff. Entering the upper level, three large workrooms provide additional collaborative environments. The design team strategically divided the space into two large zones to differentiate the work areas, located on the upper floor, from the lower-floor communal spaces. Materials used throughout both floors are industrial yet refined –– recalling the look of machinery. Various metals and geometric shapes were utilized to achieve this desired aesthetic. Intended to appeal to students, the design team chose a simple palette based on a more mature interpretation of primary colors. To supplement the muted scheme of the space, each classroom was assigned its own accent color to aid in wayfinding. The design team selected graphic wall coverings to illustrate celebrated minorities throughout history who excelled in the field of technology. Fractal, space-like linear lighting, designed by Spark Studio was installed throughout to add an additional tech-inspired element to the space.
Code Next’s mission of cultivating the next generation of Black and Latin tech leaders as one part of a larger strategy to help solve the tech industry’s diversity problem was the inspiration for much of this space.
Join us on Wednesday, June 30th for the Virtual Celebration to see if Google Code Next is selected as a winner! You’ll hear the stories behind all the finalists, chosen for their focus on community cultivation, commitment to sustainability, and unique design solutions.