The Caterpillar’s Cove clinches Singapore’s top design accolade

December 11, 2015

The Caterpillar’s Cove has recently on 11 December 2015 bagged another accolade to add to their accomplishments as they clinched the prestigious President’s Design Award this year under the Design of the Year Category.

The Caterpillar’s Cove Child Development and Study Centre at Jurong East is the first-ever entry from the early childhood educational field to be given this prestigious recognition. As a Child Development and Study Centre that focuses on growing children’s potential and connecting a learning community through research and teacher education, this award is testament to its pursuit to exemplify educational practice at its best with the complement of an ideal learning environment.

This outstanding achievement by The Caterpillar’s Cove, part of NTUC First Campus, is another sign of the organisation’s thought leadership and willingness to push boundaries in early childhood innovation.

Award-winning design and innovation features

Believing that young children have a right to spaces that will arouse their imagination and creativity, this pre-school is a design-driven pre-school that has a potential to become a model for other early-childhood learning facilities in Singapore.

Designed by Lekker Architects in consultation with The Caterpillar’s Cove design team, the centre was lauded for its design that stimulates learning, not only for children, but for parents and teachers too.

Beyond the valued recognition, this accolade uplifts the value and potential of well-designed educational spaces, and paves the way for a new generation of pre-schools that incorporate a human touch and gives hope for future generations.

Click here to view the project video.

Read more on the winning designs of the President’s Design Award here.


The school is your oyster: Children have a right to an environment that will arouse imagination and creativity. Inspired by Reggio Emilia schools in Italy, this learning area was configured to create a series of micro-environments for imaginative play.


(Image on the left) Indoor outdoor: With children in mind, the designers returned to the classic paradigm of the schoolhouse to create a sense of belonging for them. A drifting curvilinear trellis, concealing electrical services and ducts, evokes a sheltering bank of cloud.

(Image on the right) Bespoke furniture: Banked steps encourage children to lie down, tumble and sprawl as studies show that the amount of sitting by young children has negative correlations to cognitive and physiological development.


Parents are the first teachers, educators second: The environment is known as the ‘third teacher’. Play structures were made abstractly to instigate children’s imaginative plays.  In the sheltered al fresco zone, the sand play area is imagined as a miniaturised landscape.


Research Centre: A garden shed serves as an observation booth for trainee teachers and curriculum specialists to observe the behavioural patterns of the children for research and learning.

A Proud Moment

The Caterpillar’s Cove design team: (From left)  Joshua Comaroff and Ong Ker-Shing, both Directors of Lekker Architects, Germain Goh Hui Mei, General Manager (Projects), Dr Geraldine Teo-Zuzarte, Centre Director of The Caterpillar’s Cove and Yeo Hui Xian, Project Manager also from Lekker Architects.


Photography of The Caterpillar’s Cove Child Development and Study Centre: Darren Soh / Fullframephotos