A “New Khmer Architecture”

I didn’t know anything Vann Molyvann or Cambodian Modern architecture before I came across this article in the LA Times, by Dustin Roasa. Post French Independence he gained a number of big commissions from the Prince Norodom Sihanouk, as almost a national architect. Yet, after the Khmer Rouge overthrow he left and many original blueprints were lost. Moreover the more recent influx of capitalism and vertical style Asian development has resulted in the demolishing of some buildings.

Bill Greaves, is an American architect now living in Cambodia and he has devoted himself towards a restoration and archival project of Vann Molyvann’s work. Find more at The Vann Molyvann Project where they have a wonderful image archive. Some of these images are great examples of some sort of Asian version of Tropical Modernism.

VANN MOLYVANN COLLECTION

VANN MOLYVANN COLLECTION

 

VANN MOLYVANN COLLECTION

 

Some further Googling, led me this great blog New Khmer Architecture: An Architecture Suspended: Contextual Modernism in Cambodia, 1955-1970, which features more information about Vann Molyvann and his architecture. Plus, a brief interview with the architect.

Also it had some additional amazing images such as this one:

Press Booth at The National Sports Complex, Phnom Penh. Vann Molyvann. 1964.

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