Phnom Penh Architecture at the Institut Francais

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Six architecture students submit their designs of the urban concept of “shop – houses” (KT Photo: Cecelia Marshall).

By Cecelia Marshall for The Khmer Times

PHNOM PENH, September 18, (Khmer Times) − “Once Upon a Time…Phnom Penh” is a new exhibition at the Institut Francais which will open at the end of this month.

It will contain two architecture exhibits, an architecture contest, and a conference that will adjoin experts from the fields of Engineering, Architecture, and Development.

“I hope this is the first of many exhibits and gatherings to come […] that focus on urban development and architecture,” said Romain Louvet, director of the Institut Francais.

Phnom Penh has faced many challenges, as is true of every city, and he wants people to see that these problems are similar in every country.

The urban history of Phnom Penh featured in the exhibition and is presented by and for Khmer architectural students.

The skyline of Phnom Penh is rapidly changing – bristling with newly finished high-rises and the skeletons of countless ongoing construction projects. But parts of Phnom Penh’s architecture remain untouched and harken to the time of French colonial rule.

“We want young Cambodians to discover the importance of their city. The construction, the gardens, the buildings, [are all] part of their everyday lives, so it’s important for them to understand,” said Sisowath Men Chandevy, from the Ministry of Culture and Arts. “It’s of cultural and scientific value and it’s the image of our city as well.”

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