Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Modernist structures still on view

The poised classrooms of the Foreign Languages Faculty, designed by Vann Molyvann
My visit to the Cambodian-Japanese Center also enabled me to have another look at the Institute of Foreign Languages Faculty and its Vann Molyvann designed classrooms and circular library, which is an intriguing little building surrounded by a moat. The architect said it was modeled after a traditional woven palm-leaf hat. The classrooms were designed to minimize direct sunlight, maximize airflow and control the risk of flooding and are cantilevered on angled legs that look like animals waiting to pounce (or something from War of the Worlds) and the raised walkway to the building has modern naga sculptures, like its predecessors at many Angkor temples. Constructed in the 1960s, they miraculously survived the Khmer Rouge period of occupation, when other structures like the National Bank and Catholic Church were demolished. I also visited the next-door Royal University of Phnom Penh and was intrigued by the outdoor swimming pool and diving board, that has been left to the elements. I certainly wouldn't want to swim in the lime-green water that resides in the bottom of the pool today.
The circular library at the Institute, modelled on woven palm-leaf hats
The modern concrete nagas at the doorway to the Institute
The disused open-air swimming pool at the Royal University of Phnom Penh
The three-level diving tower at the open-air swimming pool at RUPP

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi andy
do you like jimi hendrix?
Anita

May 27, 2008 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

hi Anita,
no i don't. nothing against him but i've never been a massive fan of guitar players per se.
Andy

May 27, 2008 at 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cambodia has some of the world's most unique architecture and structures by design. I hope somebody with lots of money can help to buy up all of these properties and preserve them as they are truly unique to Cambodia and nowhere else. This way future cambodians and the rest of the world community can learn to appreciate cambodia and what it has to offer the visitors to the Kingdom of Cambodia. God Bless Cambodia. Thank you, for sharing, Andy (a fan of your Cambodia's website).

May 28, 2008 at 10:19 AM  

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