Turnbull - Phnom Penh

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View from Phnom Penh

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  • ~'AI\:h~ral Rev!~ Q,~~N 0003--8!>'1~ is pubhsh~d MonJhly for$1 OS per yeai by EMAP. Royal Maa }.n~do Smartmatl. !40SSt)-l St~ Surte lB.

    . ~1-., NY 112l0--1:51t. Perif,ld!ta.ls p.os:tage pi:ild a} ~yn NY and additional mailingoffi~ Postmaster: send ~t;l~ d~ to The.Architertt;~ral Review, do PSMJ Resourc-es Inc.. PO BoX'95}20, N~. MA 02455



    OMA in Berlin (p48} Bucholz McEvoy's Dooradoyle (p58) St Mary Axe, London: Foster & Partners



    27 Young architects in Moscow; high-rise living in Manchester; Patrick Nuttgens obituary

    VIEW FROM PHNOM PENH 38 By Robert Turnbull


    40 Preview of Spectrum 2004: international furniture and interior design show

    COMMENT 46 The Office


    48 Dutch embassy, Berlin, Germany OMA

    58 Civic offices, Dooradoyle, Ireland BUCHOLZ MCEVOY ARCHITECTS 64 Civic offices, Tubbercurry, Ireland MCCULLOUGH MULVIN ARCHITECTS

    68 Offices, Penang, Malaysia KEN YEANG

    71 Headquarters building, Tokyo, Japan KEN GO KUMA


    74 Traumatic transformations in Athens in preparation for the Olympics JIM ANTONIOU


    80 Office building, St Mary Axe, City, London FOSTER & PARTNERS/BENNETT INTERIOR DESIGN


    86 House, Kyoto, Japan FOBA


    91 Milan Furniture Fair


    95 Koolhaas's Content; Sydney Opera House; Shigeru Ban; Foster; modern landscape; Roman house

    DELIGHT -----98 Villa Lante, Bagnaia, Italy

    COVER 48 Dutch embassy. Berlin, Germany OMA Photograph by Christian Richters

  • 3815

    HOtel Le Royal, French Art Deco masterpiece in the Orient opened in 1929, now lavishly restored.

    The formerly elegant Cambodian capital

    was one of the many victims of the

    country's civil wars. It is now at peace,

    and attention can finally turn to

    restoring its rich architectural heritage.

    Tn April 1967, Lee Kwan Yew was invited to

    Phnom Penh by Cambodia's Prince Norodom

    Sihanouk. Crnising along the capital's elegant

    boulevards in his Mercedes convertible, the

    Singaporean prcn1ier turned to his host and

    mused, 'I hope, one day, my city will look like this'. Eight years after Lee's visit, Phnom Penh

    lay charred and abandoned. Khmer Rouge sol-

    diers had dynamited the National Bank and

    cathedral. The Art Deco Bibliotheque became

    a makeshift kitchen for Chinese advisers to Pol

    Pot staying at a decrepit IIotel Le Royal11ext

    door. Books were used as firewood. Pigs and

    chickens roamed its corridors.

    Today Cambodia is finally at peace and

    Phnom Penh is undergoing a remarkable trans-

    formation. Roads arc being re-paved, colonial

    George Gt'Osfier's National Museum completed in 1920 blends Khmer and French themes of the period.

    villas rcp~1inted and fount3ins turucd back on

    after ~H years . .'\ud, \\bile belated, the rich

    architecturallcgac:' that survived the \Vars is

    beginning to attract the attention it dcstTyes, as well

  • rned back on

    cted, the rich

    :d the wars is

    it deserves, as

    .genda -is the

    Jnal Museum

    1 collection of

    :s outside the

    ge Groslier's

    nch architec-


    1eams. Lovers

    ~e Royal, the

    lents pre-Pol

    : Ra files hotel

    c for ever, but

    trcet where it

    orne colonial

    I years, along

    ere bank and

    rchives and a

    Jchons). 1's real anhi-

    ll Modernist,

    nd a celebra-

    genous motifs

    'Ne\v Kluner

    id nourished

    ing the end of

    1bruptly with

    'in 1970 ~nd

    1e rnajority of Vann Moly-

    ~ to be trained

    Arts in Parjs,

    he came directly under the influence ofLc Cor-

    busier. Vann Molyvann used the :vfodulor in

    Phnom Penh during the 1960s, enlisting the

    services of engineer Vladimir Bodiansky and

    the town planner Henning, both of whom pro-

    vided technical assistance to the UN during the

    period. But the essence of his style comes, he

    insists, from Angkor \Vat and Khmer antiquity,

    his own architectural heritage.

    He was to Sihanouk as Christopher Wren

    was to Charles II or Shusiev to Stalin. The prince and his leading architect planned well

    over I 00 projects as part of an ambitious urban renewal programme aimed at dragging Cam-

    bodia out of the political backwater, while

    simultaneously proclaiming the country's new-

    found self-confidence and sovereignty. Exam-

    ples are liberally scattered aronnd Phnom

    Penh. However, the most obvious symbol of

    this new national identity is the Independence

    :V1onument that stands defiantly on Norodom

    Boulevard, the broad thoroughfare thatjoins

    the old colonial section to the modern zone

    developed during the '60s. Directly emulating

    the Arc de Triomphe, the chocolate-hued

    structure is, appropriately enough, surrounded

    by a profusion of nagtH, the mythical protective

    snakes and kbach. or Khmer ornaments.

    On the same street, set back from the road in

    formal gardens, is a compound of cooL low-

    slung concrete and brick pavilions with quirky

    zigzag roof lines. dcvated Angkor \'Vat vvalk-

    ways and rhythmical symmetrical doorways

    suggestive ofTa Phrom and Preah Khan tem-

    ples. Cn