- Sustainable Architecture
- Khyaung School in Cambodia, tradition and sustainability
Our readers are already familiar with Building Trust International, the British-based registered charity that has operated in Cambodia for years, using good design to drive social change (link). Their most recent work is a new school in a disadvantaged rural zone in Khyaung village, 40 km north east of Phnom Penh. The new extension increases the capacity of the old school that was too small to cater for the 359 pupils aged 3-17 who travelled from six surrounding villages to attend school.
Building Trust International worked with the award-winning British architecture firm Weston Williamson + Partner (WW+P), which designed and built the new school pro-bono, together with Engenuiti, active in knowledge-sharing and design and the engineering team from Integration, both British firms.
You can see the process and results in this video:
The school design comprises of three new classrooms, a library and a covered external classroom with a play area, which doubles as a small amphitheatre. The architects used local materials and building techniques to make sure it connects with the region. The detailing and arrangement of the brick walls combine high level openings and the bricks' cavities to increase airflow and bring in day light, while the distinctive zinc roof incorporates overhanging verandas which provide solar shading to the classroom walls. These solutions have kept down both building costs and future maintenance costs, extending the concept of sustainability beyond the environmental and social areas to also encompass the economic aspects. The school has been open since international children's day - 1 June - and was designed in close collaboration with the local community and Building Trust International, to foster an ongoing exchange of skills and ideas in order to use local know-how and to set up a relationship with the inhabitants and of course with the users of the new school.
Project: Weston Williamson + Partners
Client: Building Trust International
Engineering: Engenuiti, Integration
Location: Khyaung, Cambodia
Images: Courtesy of Building Trust International