Posts filed under ‘Society’

Preserve the great memory, Preserve our heritage, and Act now!

White bldg

White building and Gray building (now known as Phnom Penh center) was a part of Vann Molyvann’s Bassac area project. The Grey Building has been invested by Malaysian company and it was renovated beyond recognition. White building, as you seen in picture, is now in danger of demolition. It was designed as a social housing by Lu Bun hap and Vladimir Bodiansky architects and was constructed in the 1960s. The Phnom Penh municipality has released its notification letter that the building will collapse as it is very old and stands without maintenance. Sure, the building is over-occupied and looks so old but it doesn’t mean that It’s too old or too damaged to be restored or reused. Since it is a significant part of the Modern Khmer Architecture movement, it should be called a heritage (non-Angkor area heritage). No one destroyed their heritage so this building should be preserved.

Not only related people should have concern on this issue but everyone should be concerned to make a big voice. A big voice can be heard more easily than a small voice. Sadly, more and more French colonial, 50s and 60s buildings have been being demolished to make a way for modernization. This is not a good choice to modernize Phnom Pench city. That’s why we should make a big voice for our beloved city.

To know more about this issue and how we transform this old building into a profitable one ( tourism, business..) please follow this link to the alternative plan designed by Mr. Giacomo Butte, an Italian architect. I found it greatly interesting .  I really appreciate his work. If Phnom Penh municipality take this plan into consideration, I am sure that the city residents will be much happy especially people who live in the White building. Moreover, if the building is preserved, the memory of the golden age of the 1950s and 60s will also be preserved.

ខែ​កុម្ភៈ 16, 2011 at 5:39 ព្រឹក មតិ 6

Leaders of Cambodia ruling party left for Laos

Follow this link

ខែធ្នូ 26, 2010 at 5:20 ព្រឹក បញ្ចេញមតិ

A feeling of pride

Have you ever felt your national pride when you read an article written by a foreigner? This is the first time I feel greatly proud of myself as a Khmer when come across a blog of Mr. Donor Macneice. I could say that he wrote it from his heart and soul. I have never seen any foreign writing which admired our country like this before. He also mentioned some bad aspects of the kingdom but he always concluded with his positive comments on them. The phrase that inspired me the most is ” In spite of  all the above – the Cambodians smile and are not angry.” You should spend some times read his blog and you will find out our national pride. It is the hidden treasure that most of people never heard about.

ខែកញ្ញា 24, 2010 at 5:25 ព្រឹក មតិ 4

Cambodia construction sector and Building code

Before the global financial crisis, Construction sector in Cambodia had risen up nationwide and the country had benefited from it very much. This could help national economy growing up to about 10%. Unfortunately, when the crisis came, most of the new constructions were stuck and stopped. Cambodia’s construction field has suffered greatly from the economic crisis. However, this doesn’t mean the sector is still stuck from the time of the crisis but it has started to slowly recover after the crisis ended.

Nowadays,  we can see the recovery trough new real-estate investments and new constructions through out Phnom Penh and some major provinces.  This is a good sign for future of the sector, yet it is not what we have to be much happy. The point that I say we should not be much happy is that there are many concerns behind it.

So far, Cambodia has not yet set up the formal code to guarantee standard for new buildings.  Building code is the set of rules to secure the minimum level of  safety for buildings and non-building structure. Building code is the only effective way to guarantee the standard of the construction and building. The lack of Building code  has affected Cambodian society in all aspects even the health sector. Can you imagine a house which is approved by the ministry of land management urban and construction but is not suitable for living?

If we talk about architecture which is closely attached to the construction sector, a building is built to meet people demands, to comfort people, to provide a safe shelter, and to secure its quality for long time. For some buildings in Cambodia, especially houses in Phnom Penh, do not have enough capability to function like I mentioned above.  Some poorly-designed house were just built to occupy many people but do not comfort them with the good quality of light and air.

Plus, most of Cambodian architectural designers seem to be slow in updating them self  in the today global context. I have been taught to design a house to comfort people but never been taught to comfort the environment. It is hard to get right answer from the question ” What is sustainability in architecture?” or other similar questions from Cambodian students and some Cambodian architects. As known, the world is changing greatly fast and the world is facing some terrible things that we need to take action. Have you ever known about Carbon emission from buildings, Drops of natural resources and so on? That is why we need to green the buildings , construction of buildings, and also designs of building. The only answer to these problems is green code for building.

In conclusion, there are more advantages of building code which some people cannot think of.  For Cambodia, good building code is invaluable. Don’t you think that it is the time to have a formal building code for our country?

a scence of Cambodian housing

* This is just my own writing about my own opinion. Please you feel free correct mistakes in grammar and meaning. Thanks!

ខែកញ្ញា 12, 2010 at 5:22 ព្រឹក មតិ 4

What is landscape architecture?

Most of Cambodian people do not know what architecture is and more people do not know about landscape architecture. They do not even know what people majoring in above skill do. Some people said architect is  an artist. Yeah, architect or landscape architect is an artist but they have a broad capability in actualizing their drawing. To suit my article, I would only talk about landscape architecture. The landscape architecture in Cambodia is not popular and we have only few Khmer landscape architects working in the field as there is no university opening this subject. Even worse, there is no formal training in Landscape architecture available in this country.

Chulalongkorn university is the only institution that provides Landscape Architecture major in the region.

The term of landscape architecture is the design of outdoor and public spaces to meet human demand and environment (It is more and this is just a short explanation). Landscape architecture has its own history but I prefer not to mention here but you can read yourself  on wiki. I find that Landscape Architecture is very important not just for its aesthetic but for everything if you go deeper into it. Landscape architects use their creativity to design outdoor spaces based on existing regional landscape, culture and people who live around that site. Landscape architecture (which is known as landscape gardening in the old old time) is not only about gardening but more.

Landscape computer visualization

landscape architectural work

Modern landscape

For decades, landscape architecture has been very popular in developed countries like US, European countries.. In US there is a famous magazine specializing only in Landscape Architecture. The magazine is called Landscape Architecture. This magazine has reflected that Landscape Architecture has been practiced and popular in the American society. Landscape profession has also been recognized and appreciated.  We can see several creative landscape works which are very admirable and hope to see it exists in our country.

Landscape Architecture magazine

So far, in Cambodia, most of  landscape architectural works are nothing remarkable. The gardens and public spaces in Phnom Penh and other city of the kingdom are seen the same style and less creative except private ones (example: 5-star hotel garden). This is a  problem so related people and institutions should re-consider about this as Cambodia has been trying to boost its tourism sector and investments. Plus, Cambodian society should accept the new and creative ideas and be less conservative for things that has no impact on our culture.

ខែកញ្ញា 10, 2010 at 5:29 ព្រឹក មតិ 5


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