Modern Architecture in Cambodia

March 29, 2012 · 14 comments

Most of the modern architecture in Cambodia leaves something to be desired. Across the countryside beautiful old wooden houses are being pulled down in favour of the more modern look.

Here are a two examples of buildings I have seen in the last few days.

Modern Cambodian house

This property clearly shows some of the new design methods that are being adopted here in Cambodia.

Blue tiles, bright green outside walls and pink and blue window frames. Pillars at the front of the house are commonly used by wealthy Cambodians to show their opulence, but it seems builders have begun to adopt this style on smaller properties too.

modern architecture in Cambodia 2

Here is another example of bright walls and a questionable design.  This could be the narrowest building I have ever seen. I mean, seriously?

Does anyone know what brought about this new style of building?

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  • Ohhh… I don’t know why it’s happening in Cambodia. But I truly hope it doesn’t become common place!

    It happened on a huge scale in Singapore, and all the shop houses designed for this climate specifically, were torn down and replaced by awful 70s style high rises made of concrete and not much else.

    It’s really sad to see so much heritage and culture get displaced by lame cost saving measures…

    • Simon Oliver

      I am not sure what people see is attractive about these new builds. I find it most baffling!

  • calzohoudini

    Great bamboo fence to keep the…. eh… something out. It’s not so much the architecture but the paint colours that they use. Bold!

    • Simon Oliver

      Yes the fence did seem a little weird. I wonder who goes to the paint shop and sees that green and goes “yup, that’s the one I want”.

  • X-expat

    Blue roofs – thai style approach that spread into Koh Kong c.2006.
    Dark blue tiles (and dark concrete walls) are ideal at soaking up heat…ok if you whack the aircon up to 11. Except where that green/blue/pink house is in the pic is not connected to grid/mains electricity, is it?

    Trad style, stilted wooden houses had benefits of being raised to catch more breeze, shady hammack zone beneath etc etc but it’s “old-fashioned” innit 

    • Simon Oliver

      I think what happens is that someone says “blue tiles are good because …. (blah blah blah)”, That becomes fact and then everyone gets them.

  • I felt it was especially disheartening to see old French villas being torn down. Many of them were destroyed or left in disrepair since Khmer Rouge, and the few left have almost vanished.

    • Simon Oliver

      I agree. I think the cost of restoration is a factor. Also the fact that a lot of the mansions in Phnom Penh and other towns follow this new modern architectural style which has encouraged many to turn away from the old ways.

  • Taureau

    The green, green grass of home? Ugly house!

  • Zephaniah_easylife

    haha the green house is quite funny looking

  • Sorn Chantha

    The green wall and blue tiles looked okay cos of the rice paddy right next door but the blue building is unexceptionable… 

  • Bhedaabheda

    these new building look much better than the old ones.

  • AT

    Should the cambodian architecture evolves into phnong huts or New York condos, who needs a foreign’s input?  Instead of being judgemental on what should or should not be, do just let it be!

  • wow

    Very interesting. I wonder what that wall is made up of… brick??