Phnom Penh Endangered Architectures

Posted: December 24, 2008 in Photos
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Last Sunday again I explored Phnom Penh endangered architectures with my architect friend. This time we started from Pheah Monivong Hospital acquired by Royal Group for Department Store to be erected sometimes in the future. We politely sought permission for photographs from the guard men but were refused; however I managed to get a few snapshots from the main gate.

The next destination was the building named after the very same word-Building. It is located near Residence of Russian Ambassador. It is also considered as a slum, and I am sure it is never come into the places-to-go list for most of people. It was also my first time to be there. Frankly at the begging I was slightly nervous as it is not a place of good reputation. Inside the building it was dark but well-ventilated. Most of the units have one or two rooms with kitchen, bathroom and veranda. After about ten minutes strolling inside the building, I felt completely safe and sensed the friendliness of the residents. We even have intruded into a few houses to get some clues about the interior layouts. We ended up chitchatting with them as if we just happened to live nearby. I noticed there were so many Marenh Kongveal there, but I found no hint of druggie or prostitute (what it is infamous for. Perhaps I was on the wrong block or it was just not active in daytime.)

The last exploration on that day was the building located on the corner of Norodom Blvd. and St. 110. The building roof has collapsed and building itself was beyond renovation. According to the nearby residents, someone has purchased it but left it to fall down. There is no sign of people living in this French colonial building. I personally love this building and wish someone have paid good attention and care on it keeping it standing still as long as it can. But with current condition, it will be gone soon or later. It is only a matter of time.

Preah Monivong HospitalPreah Monivong Hospital

Building Slum. This is just a part of it.Building Slum. This is just a part of it.

A monk collecting alms along the corridorA monk collecting alms along the corridor

Marenh Kongveal hanged in front of the roomMarenh Kongveal hanged in front of the room

A view of Phnom Penh Center from resident veranda A view of Phnom Penh Center from resident veranda

Children playing card at corridorChildren playing card at corridor

Clothes hanged at shared staircaseClothes hanged at shared staircase

An old building with collapsed roofAn old building with collapsed roof

A wall of the old buildingA wall of the old building

Residences next to the old buildingResidences next to the old building

  1. ksrun says:

    It is very difficult when it comes to discuss whether to keep old buildings as it used be, or to demolish them and build new ones. I admit that there are good style architectures from French colonial period that we should preserve or repair them to keep it as tourist destination. Meanwhile, Phnom Penh is changing its face day by day, with newly build, new style high-storyed buildings. This is also a good trend for Phnom Penh, as it is a capital city which is chasing international standard. Whether to preserve, and what to demolish, should need delicate decision of people involved.

  2. kluv says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ahead!! May all your wish come true!!

  3. Phal says:

    Yeah I agree that everything continue evolving including building. But I think that some buildings tell a lot of story not only about itself but also events and other things happened around it. These buildings are parts of the history of Phnom Penh and Cambodia. Some of them should be well preserved for the next generation and foreign visitors. There are even some visitors coming here just in the purpose of seeing this kind of history.

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