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Architects Team Up with Khmer Women to Build a Community Centre with Fabric and Concrete

Using an innovative method of casting concrete in lightweight fabric molds, the architects of Orkidstudio -- along with StructureMode -- teamed up with a group of Khmer women in Sihanoukville, Cambodia to rebuild a community centre in the city’s urban heart.

The construction technique was developed and tested by engineers from StructureMode using a combination of physical testing and computer analysis software, Oasys GSA Suite, to predict the stretch of a particular fabric when concrete is poured inside. Through three-dimensional sketches the seamstresses and building team could understand the construction sequence of the form, completing the entire project in just eight weeks.

Courtesy of Orkidstudio Courtesy of Orkidstudio © Lindsay Perth © Lindsay Perth

AD Classics: Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is just one of dozens of extant Khmer temples in the Angkor area of present-day Cambodia, but it represents the apex of a building tradition that spanned five centuries, and the height of Khmer power and influence in the region. It is the largest temple complex at Angkor, and intricate bas-relief sculptures line the sandstone structures exemplify the apex of Khmer artistry. Although it has been in continuous use since its construction in the twelfth century, aspects of its history remain unknown. As archaeologist and anthropologist Charles Higham explains, “Curiously, there are no direct references to it in the epigraphic record, so we do not know its original name and controversy remains over its function and aspects of its symbolic status.”[1] Originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, the complex was later converted to Buddhist use (the word “wat” typically refers to Buddhist monasteries[2]), and continues to be a site of religious pilgrimage today.

Secondary School in Cambodia / Architetti senza frontiere Italia

  • Architects: Architetti senza frontiere Italia
  • Location: M'pai village pier, Cambodia
  • Design Team: Camillo Magni, Elisabetta Fusarpoli, Paolo Garretti, Filippo Mascaretti, Marta Minetti, Sabrina Suma, Marco Tommaseo
  • Coordinator: Camillo Magni
  • Area: 740.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Bernardo Salce

© Bernardo Salce © Bernardo Salce © Bernardo Salce © Bernardo Salce

COOKFOX Begins Construction on the Neeson Cripps Academy in Cambodia

COOKFOX Architects has recently begun construction on The Neeson Cripps Academy, a high-tech and sustainable school to be built in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as a gift from Velcro Companies to the Cambodian Children’s Fund.

The school, named for Cambodian Children’s Fund founder Scott Neeson and former Velcro Companies Chairman Robert Cripps, will employ multiple sustainable building practices, including water and energy efficiency via natural lighting, integrated solar shading, low energy lighting, and low flow water fixtures. An energy recovery system will further work to improve air quality inside classrooms by filtering outdoor air into the interior of the building, and on-site photovoltaic cells will provide a portion of the school’s energy needs.

Cambodia 2015: Open Competition Seeks Proposals for Floating Structures on Tonle Sap Lake

Eleven has launched its inaugural ideas and design international competition based on Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake: a chance for architects, designers and students to engage in a unique design challenge and help make a difference along the way.

Located just a few miles south from the magnificent Angkor Temples, the Tonle Sap Lake is the largest fresh water basin in Southeast Asia. It boasts a UNESCO biosphere status since 1997 due to its ecological significance as a haven for hundreds of species of birds and fish, many of which are endangered. The lake is also home to more than 1.2 million people living in traditional floating villages. These remote communities migrate seasonally around the basin and rely heavily on its waters for sustenance.

Sleuk Rith Institute / Zaha Hadid Architects

Reflecting Pool. Image Courtesy of ZHA
Reflecting Pool. Image Courtesy of ZHA

Zaha Hadid Architects have unveiled their design for the Sleuk Rith Institute in Phnom Penh. The highly-anticipated project, commissioned by the Documentation Center of Cambodia’s (DC-Cam), will serve as Cambodia’s go-to archive for Khmer Rouge history and a leading center for genocide studies in Asia.

Five wooden towers, inspired by ancient Angkorian architecture, will house the institute’s “cross-section of pursuits,” including a genocide research center, graduate school, museum, document archives and research library. As the towers rise, the structures will interweave and link, connecting various departments above the ground level and uniting the institution as a singular whole. 

A virtual tour through the institute, after the break.

South Facade and Memorial Park. Image Courtesy of ZHA Entrance. Image Courtesy of ZHA Foyer. Image Courtesy of ZHA Library. Image Courtesy of ZHA

Building Trust International Constructs Sustainable Housing in Cambodia

Building Trust International, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and Karuna Cambodia, has realized three winning designs from the 2013 Future of Sustainable Housing in Cambodia competition. 

Built on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the constructed designs sought to provide impoverished Cambodians with new options for safe and secure homes under $2000 that are capable of withstanding flood and able to be expanded in phases. 

Check out the three completed designs, after the break...

2014 Cambodia Live Build Workshop

Building Trust is a non-profit charity founded in 2010. Last month, we featured one of the schools they have worked on in Thailand, and they now have a number of sustainable design and build projects in Cambodia during 2014, including a health center, a school, a wildlife conservation project and housing.

Zaha Hadid to Design Sleuk Rith Institute in Cambodia

The Documentation Center of Cambodia’s (DC-Cam) has commissioned Zaha Hadid to design the much-anticipated genocide studies institute in Phnom Penh. The new campus, known as the Sleuk Rith Institute, will serve as an extension of DC-Cam’s work as the country’s go-to archive for Khmer Rouge history as well as a leading center for genocide studies in Asia. Within a modest campus, the institute will house a “cross-section of pursuits,” including a genocide studies center, a school, a museum for memorial and education purposes, and more.

"Youk Chhang's vision is inspirational,” stated Zaha Hadid. “His brief for the Sleuk Rith Institute calls for beauty and an optimism for the future to heal and reconnect a country, with the Documentation Centre of Cambodia being key to that process."

Prototype Housing I / Collective Studio

Loft openings towards rear site Loft, owner moves in Main space looking toward entry Home owners grandmother relaxes in loft

Cambodian Future House Competition Winning Proposals

Building Trust International, a non-profit organization offering design assistance to communities and individuals in need, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and Karuna Cambodia announced the joint winners of the design competition that brings new life to housing design and delivery for low income families living in Cambodia. The winning projects include: ‘Wet + Dry House’ by Mary Ann Jackson, Ralph Green, Muhammad Kamil and Nick Shearman from Australian firm Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd., ‘Courtyard House’ by Jess Lumley & Alexander Koller from the UK, and ‘Open Embrace’ by Keith Greenwald and Lisa Ekle from USA. The Winning Student Design was by Sanaz Amin Deldar, Nastaran Hadidi, Ehsan Naderi and Simak Khaksar from Iran. More images and information after the break.

Cambodian Sustainable Housing Proposal / Architetto Matteo Ascani

Designed by Architetto Matteo Ascani (AMA), the main driving force behind the their Cambonian Sustainable Housing project was to somehow recreate the sensation of living in a typical Cambodian house, where people have to maintain their own traditions, but in healthy and safe living conditions. Combined with a type of spatial experience that allows flexibility and the simple method of construction, this environmentally conscious design is able to respond to the needs of this society. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Friends Center at Angkor Hospital for Children / COOKFOX

© COOKFOX Architects
© COOKFOX Architects

The Friends Center at Angkor Hospital for Children was designed by COOKFOX Architects as an accessory to the existing Angkor Hospital founded by Kenro Izu.  The pediatric care facility provides free, quality medical services to over 500,000 patients in Siem Reap, Cambodia while also training health care professionals.  The center is an outreach pavilion to welcome visitors to the hospital without compromising patient privacy.  The center is a space of exchange where visitors, learning about the program may also experience elements of Cambodia’s heritage through exhibitions of art work and the architecture itself.

Cambodian Sustainable Housing Competition

Courtesy of Building Trust International
Courtesy of Building Trust International

In partnership with Karuna Cambodia, Habitat for Humanity & the Cambodian Society of Architects (CSA), Building Trust International is looking for designs for the Cambodian Sustainable Housing competition. Proposals should be able to  provide a sustainable future for housing in the South-east Asian country. Any proposal will have to stick to a very low budget and deal with the yearly flooding of Tonle Sap, which the majority of Cambodia’s 16 million inhabitants live in close proximity to. The final date for registration, which has been extended, is December 22nd at midnight (11:59 pm.GMT). Proposals are then due to be submitted on January 15th. For more information, please visit here.

Building Trust International Open International Design Competition

Courtesy of Building Trust International
Courtesy of Building Trust International

Focused on ‘Cambodian Sustainable Housing’, the new Building Trust International Open International Design Competition looks into designing affordable, flood resistant housing in the South-east Asian country. In partnership with Karuna Cambodia, Habitat for Humanity & the Cambodian Society of Architects (CSA), proposals will have to keep below a budget of $2000 and deal with the yearly flooding that effects most residential areas. The winning design will be built by Habitat for Humanity Cambodia and will influence the way they build housing in the region. This competition is a real chance to make a difference to a large group of working Cambodians lives. Submissions are due January 15. To register, and for more information, please visit here.