1. The Pearl
An Agri-Urban Village
Hotel and School
with Residential Component
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University of Miami
School of Architecture
Master of Architecture
An Agri-Urban Village
Sarah Neola Sapone
DESIGN DEGREE PROJECT
Faculty: Professors Adib Cure, Nicholas Patricios, Veruska Vasconez
Graduate Director: Professor Jean-Francois LeJeune
Advisor: Professor Sonia Chao
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List of Illustrations
Travel Sketches…………………………………………………….………...Page 51
Final Presentation Drawings……………………………………………..…Page 116
How to Develop Responsibly, An Architect’s Perspective ………………..………...…....…....Page 8
Project Definition…………………………………………………………….……...Page 19
Conceptual Framework……………………………………………………………...Page 20
Literature Review Outline…………………………………………………...………Page 21
Design Objectives…………………………………………………………………...Page 41
Project for the Development Master Plan of Phnom Penh…………...............Page 56
The Mekong Source and local Chaktomuk Junction Environmental, Hydrological
and Morphological Phenomenon ..……………………….……………….....Page 65
Preliminary Meetings and Reconnaissance Visit…………………….………..Page 71
A Guide to Angkor Monuments – Prah Khan by Maurice Glaize ……..….…Page 77
The Venice Charter (International Charter for the Conservation and
Restoration of Monuments and Sites)………………………………...............Page 94
Nara Document on Authenticity………………………………………...…...Page 98
VII. Six Themes for the Next Millennium……………………………………….Page 101
Glossary …...…………………………………………………………….………….Page 89
Biography………………………………………………………………………… Page 115
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List of Illustrations
Cambodian Women at Island, Phnom Penh, November 2009…………..…..…..p. 11
Location of Cambodia Relative to Florida ……………………………….….….p. 14
Proposed Project Location relative to Phnom Penh ………………………........p. 15
Plan of Preah Khan Redraughted, March-November 2009……....…………...…p. 16
Preah Khan North Entry Render, July 2009…………………………..………...p. 17
The Pearl North Entry Elevation Render, December 2009……………………..p. 17
Kean Sray, The Pearl Site Issues and Cambodia Statistics…………………….....p. 24
The Pearl Site Issues, Wet and Dry Season Wind Conditions……………….…..p. 24
The Pearl Agri-Urban Village Profile (Concept Pre-Design Ideas)………….…...p. 25
10. Interior Corbel Section Idea for Cooling System at The Pearl, August 2009…..…p.27
11. Solar Powered Sea-Slug Inspiration for Trade Technologies On-Site ………...…..p. 30
12. Example of Floating Homes by Duravemeer…………………………….……..p. 31
13. The Pearl Village Profile, Programmatic Analysis………………….………...p. 33-36
14. One of Better Current Technology NGO Educational Facilities, Phnom Penh....p. 38
15. Children at the NGO Educational Facility, Phnom Penh…………………….....p. 38
16. The NGO Educational Facility, Phnom Penh……………………………….….p. 39
17. Children at the NGO Educational Facility, Phnom Penh………………….……p. 39
18. Computer Stations Children at the NGO Educational Facility…………….….....p. 40
19. The NGO Educational Facility, Phnom Penh…………………………….…….p. 40
20. Outside the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh………………………………….……...p. 41
21. Development of the Master Plan of Phnom Penh…………………...……….p.56-64
22. The Mekong Icy Wastes (Google Images), Photoshop ………..…………….….p. 66
23. Map of The Mekong River…………………………………………….…..……p. 67
24. The Flow Regime at the Chaktomuk Junction…………………………………..p.68
25. Morphological Evolution of the Chaktomuk Junction …………………………p. 69
26. Evolution of the Flow Form of the Chaktomuk Junction ……………………...p. 70
1. Ankgor, Cambodia Field Sketch……………………………………………………...p. 51
2. Preah Khan, Double Height Round Column, Sacred Sword, North Elevation…….....p. 51
3. Preah Khan, Double Height Round Column, Sacred Sword, East Elevation…….........p. 52
4. Preah Khan, Temple for Buddhist Gods, Southwest Quadrant, West Elevation….......p. 53
5. Preah Khan, Dharmasala, Rest House, Southeast Quadrant, North Elevation…...........p. 54
6. Preah Khan, Dharmasala, Rest House, Southeast Quadrant, Plan…………...…...........p. 54
7. Preah Khan, Temple for Buddhist Gods, Northeast Quadrant, East Elevation….........p. 55
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World development can be thought of in terms of three paradigms: the
cultivation of natural resources, tourism, and communal local infrastructure
development. Empower people from within and teach the tools to those who
have a vested interest in the land, create the market for world travelers and set
up a philanthropic device to manifest capital for public projects; with a little
faith, this is a trajectory for the resolution of some developing world
The Pearl is a Hotel and School on the Mekong River in Koh Prak, Kandall
Province, 14 km south of Phnom Penh.
The project invites an interactive Environment that fuses education and
The Foundations for the architectural landscape lay spiritually with the Temple
City of Preah Khan.
Casual craft vernacular Bungalows, unique to this region, are designed to have
minimal environmental impact and refined to become a building language
appropriate to Cambodia today, using rattan and brick materials.
The Pearl will be a model for future development, tourism, housing and
education in Cambodia.
Pre-Thesis Course Advisor: Professor Richard John
Thesis Advisor: Sonia Chao, Director Center of Urban & Community Design,
Research Associate Professor
Local Southeast Asia Advisor: Richard Hassell, Director WOHA Architects
Other Advisor: Robert Weiner, Co-Founder CNN, Author of Live From
Thesis Advisor Committee: Dean Elizbeth Plater-Zyberk, and Professors:
Min Mossman, Veruska Vasconez, Jean Francois-Lejeune, Adib J Cure,
Katherine Wheeler, Nicholas N. Patricios, PHD.
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This writing is about a thesis student’s initial reconnaissance experience in Cambodia and the
events leading up to it. Misperceptions are factors in determining how we perceive issues
affecting the developing world. Until we are physically and emotionally present in a place,
we only know what we read, are told or shown to be true; not the actual realty; which is
HOW TO DEVELOP RESPONSIBLY
AN ARCHITECT’S PERSPECTIVE
Sarah Neola Sapone
The power in Architecture is found in the pallet of materials, which is properly determined
by the location of the building. If not in the location, then today in a globalized society, even
as innovations and emergent materials are manifesting, the range is determined within the
small realm of the physical.
Emotion secretes only through the depth of the material and space over time.
Reflections, The Bangkok Story: Genocide and the Preconceived Notions of a Population. I
was worn out after US History and the History of Western Civilizations. Are we not editing
a certain large population of the world with these topics? The world is far more concerning,
its’ history and cohabitant relationships.
East is West, Left is Right, Up is Down, Spiritual is Religious
Preconceived notions are funny things. The whole first portion of an African History Class
was dedicated to the breakdown of Misperceptions.
Misperception 1: Africa is a Continent, not a Country. Actually Africa is home to 47
countries. 53 countries, if islands such as Cape Verde and Madagascar are counted.(“How
Many Countries are in Africa?”). A surprising amount of people do not know this.
Misperception 2: Africa is not only a Continent, it is the Largest Continent. The Mercator
and the Gall-Peter's Projection map distort the continent of Africa and make other locales
look larger. This is a huge misperception that has been running rampant for the past 400
years. These projection maps measure the size of regions according to their distance from
the equator. Regards to the Mercator projection map, Greenland is represented larger than
Africa, whereas, in reality Africa is 14 times as large.(“Gall–Peters Projection”).
A sad thought when one thinks to all the injustice, miscalculations and lack of knowledge
out there based on well, what seemingly sounded pretty good:
Excerpt from Peters' The New Cartography:
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Philosophers, astronomers, historians, popes and mathematicians have all drawn global maps long before
cartographers as such existed.
Cartographers appeared in the "Age of Discovery", which developed into the Age of European Conquest
and Exploitation and took over the task of making maps.
By the authority of their profession they have hindered its development. Since Mercator produced his
global map over four hundred years ago for the age of
Europeans world domination, cartographers have clung to it despite its having been long outdated by
events. They have sought to render it topical by cosmetic corrections.
...The European world concept, as the last expression of a subjective global view of primitive peoples,
must give way to an objective global concept
The cartographic profession is, by its retention of old precepts based on the Eurocentric global concept,
incapable of developing this egalitarian world map which alone can demonstrate the parity of all peoples
of the earth. (Peters).
The New Cartography published in 1983 prompted more debates on the subject upon
realising, it too was skewed. Thus, six years later seven North American Geographic
organizations adopted this resolution.(“Gall–Peters Projection”).:
WHEREAS, the earth is round with a coordinate system composed entirely of circles, and
WHEREAS, flat world maps are more useful than globe maps, but flattening the globe surface
necessarily greatly changes the appearance of Earth's features and coordinate systems, and
WHEREAS, world maps have a powerful and lasting effect on peoples' impressions of the shapes and
sizes of lands and seas, their arrangement, and the nature of the coordinate system, and
WHEREAS, frequently seeing a greatly distorted map tends to make it "look right,"
THEREFORE, we strongly urge book and map publishers, the media and government agencies to
cease using rectangular world maps for general purposes or artistic displays. Such maps promote serious,
erroneous conceptions by severely distorting large sections of the world, by showing the round Earth as
having straight edges and sharp corners, by representing most distances and direct routes incorrectly, and
by portraying the circular coordinate system as a squared grid.
The most widely displayed rectangular world map is the Mercator (in fact a navigational diagram
devised for nautical charts), but other rectangular world maps proposed as replacements for the Mercator
also display a greatly distorted image of the spherical Earth.
The Bangkok Story: In typical modus of a thesis student waiting the flight to a personally
previously undiscovered territory, I go to the airport bookshop and search for books on
Cambodia. A Lonely Planet exists for every niche locale in South East Asia: Laos, Malaysia,
Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Taiwan, even Tibet... Yet, not a single leaf of literature for
Cambodia. Puzzled, I remember the Thai-Cambo Controversy, again sparked last year. The
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two countries are in the midst of a century long dispute over the ownership of the Preah
Vihear Temple in the Northern Cambodian Territory, bordering Thailand. The Temple was
built in the 11th and 12th Century by the Khmer people, the ethnic majority of Cambodia.
On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, accessible both
from Thailand and Cambodia with tariffs subsequent to a visitor's nationality. i (900-year-old
Temple…”). Funny, because after speaking with a Cambodian a few weeks into my
reconnaissance trip, he explained to me how Thailand was once Cambodia. The Thai people
separated and created their own language and culture. So, it seems, the story of Babylon
exists at every corner of the world. Today, words are very similar amidst the two languages.
Also, the Buddhist religions of both follow the Theravada teachings from the Sanskrit of
Indian Descent. The interrelationship of Cambodia and Thailand, I would suppose is quite
on par with the relationship between Mexico and the United States, and the United States
with Europe. Though, I would not be so bold as to determine which country represents its'
approximate analogy. Also, the historical timeline of both cross-cultural integrated
relationships is fixed only in relative time. However, it is worth mentioning, roughly 3/4 of
California was once Mexican Territory.
No books on Cambodia at this particular Bangkok airport book shop; Spare for the large
photographic epic of grand proportion with grotesque images of mass killings and torture
during the Pol Pot Regime. I remember now, why the first day in Phnom Penh was filled
with sorrow, remorse, sadness, fear, blurred perceptions and a wash of thoughts.
This book was not exactly the likely first picture one wants in their mind, when embarking
on a night flight to unfamiliar territory: a - what do they call me, ‘non-hispanic’, western
foreigner with an enlarged imagination capable of stirring up and mushing over impossible
scenarios becoming so engulfed in false reality that a mouse becomes lavishly dangerous. In
actuality, the mouse does not exist. It is a pebble in the road.
So I think, Great, good first face impression for a humanitarian outreach effort you overimaginative paranoiac. Day one lost, evening and day two spent frantically searching for a
new place to lay my head and projecting fear from my face onto every man, woman and
child passing my person.
What is an Architecture Thesis these days anyway?
And more importantly:
What is an Architects’ Role in Society?
Well, I guess this question should be asked of all professions in all societies these days.
A professor once said, 'You cannot solve politics, regulatory and social issues with
Architecture.' The rest of the comment trickled off into some statement along the lines of,
‘You Can Create the backdrop for a discussion, but not the solutions to cultural
phenomenon. She never said you could not spur a debate...
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At first, I was disappointed to hear this professor’s comment. Really, is it not possible?
In the same vein that Architects argue for implanting building programs with existing
typologies for different uses to create unexpected surprises and new ways of thinking about
Why not thinking about new ways of being Architects in Society?
Some would say that Architects are a Reflection of Society; and this is Our Role.
In my opinion, we have been sidelined. Economic factors surrounding development, budget
cuts and value engineering have taken away our ingenuative edge. We must take it back.
Architects do not want to be sidelined. We want to help. Then how to design as a Westerner
in Cambodia? What is the most Authentic Route?
For, if not, then the alternative is Reflecting Society?
An aside: I apologize for the Artificial Straw Man, I am about to set up and knock down;
however in model Berkeley fashion, I feel obliged to make this point
I am scared for this. So, are we to sit in a cubicle all day, moan about the state of affairs of
the world? Work for a pay less than we are truly valued? Or worse, exploit and find new
ways of exploiting the youth, elderly and innocent?
This is not a political debate. This is just a reminiscing, a searching.
Mike Davis, in Fortress L.A. argues that we build libraries, civic buildings and it completely
escapes us to make the entry visible and accessible to the public, the buildings' very own
users. (City of Quartz.1990).
Humanitarian, I think not.
We put sprinklers on in the middle of the night, instead of early in the morning, before the
sunrise to ward out the homeless from the parks where they sleep. These are the very
people we displaced the first go-around to build that fancy new phallic formed sky-rise with
underpaid employee labor.
We design air vents to evacuate themselves high above the height of that homeless person
who could benefit from the warmth it affords.
How do these issues affect the Developing World?
I do not think Developing Countries are behind. I think Developing Countries have every
chance to develop differently, smarter and with the hard-knock overeducated
underestimated lessons learned from the guinea pigs, us, the Developed World, out-dated,
out-modeled, and over-the-hill.
It is the parable of the Tortoise and the Hare.
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Whether the tortoise is behind from its country’s own internal struggle or it is behind
because it has been bogged down with export tariffs, import fees and the external pressures
of developed countries does not matter.
In the Case of Cambodia, One undeniable truth is evident: the Khmer People are a wildly
intelligent population. They are not the only developing country holding this validity.
The genocide left staggering statistics behind, killing one quarter of the population and
affecting everyone. The result of a few men’s vision to turn the urban society, learned and
skillful into an agrarian country overnight; well, over four years. Bequeathed of this, half the
population today is 20 years and under. A confounding statistic regards to the mass youth
energy left (or right) in this country filled with incredible ancestry and a lack of guidance
from the wisdom of its elders. These powerful men in Cambodia were educated abroad in
Nobody really knows How To. They have an idea and the faith to pursue it.
It is up to us. Our World Society to rise to the Challenge. Not just in Cambodia, but all
over the globe. The need is always present and the site is waiting for the right eyes.
Fig. 1 Cambodian Women at Island, Phnom Penh, November 2009
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A person goes on vacation to escape the daily grind. The 9-5 and longer grudge work in the
hopes of obtaining some fulfillment through his/her travels.
Most people book hotel rooms, typical of their own homes providing the same comforts
they already know, and return from their vacation once again unfulfilled of the something
This Project seeks to reinvent and to innovate the idea of luxury resort travel to provide on a
human level, the basic fulfillment needs while on vacation or business.
People helping People: clearly visibly; during vacation.
In action, the Pearl Hotel and School spurs economic growth in 3rd World Countries. The
Pearl provides education, jobs and training to local children on the premise.
Children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia have limited access if any to internet, resources and
educational tools necessary to succeed in an ever increasing globally connected environment.
The developed world can learn, too.
A guest walks through the herb or vegetable garden sometime after check-in and touches a
basil leaf. At dinner, the local chef, merging skills with world renowned chefs, has prepared
the meal incorporating this leaf.
A child learning to research finds an organic food store local to the guest's home, based on
his/her geographic location in the world. The child also writes or types a recipe for the dish
to be provided with the guest's receipt, so the guest can remake the meal when the guest
People learn from each other.
Cambodians have a rich heritage, both architectural and spiritual. For some reason
development in one arena causes a void another. Theravada Buddhism is the largest
practicing religion in Cambodia. Traditionally, Buddhist monks teach Cambodian children in
rural areas English, education and trades under Pagodas throughout South East Asia.
At the hotel, a holistic oasis with retreat for spa, relaxing, swimming and yoga is
It is my hope to incorporate these elements into a fantastic hotel that brings multiple
cultures together in a harmonious and beautiful way.
Sponsoring the sincere effort to realize this dream is an altruistic benefit to everyone. This
project will be built and those who have helped will be recognized with their names
engraved on the entry ‘Gift Wall’. People who believe in the power of a project like this can
make a difference and dreams do come true.
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Master’s of Architecture
Design Degree, May 2010
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As an Architect, I question our Role in Society and believe that we want to help and do not
want to be sidelined. We have the skills and tools that can better the quality of life of human
beings around the world. I do not believe we should keep this knowledge for ourselves and 2%
of the world population, who hire architects. I believe we should engage our knowledge and
communities to help developing countries grow safe and responsibly, alleviating any
manmade casualties related to natural disasters.
On the Mekong River, past Phnom Penh’s South National Road 1, 14Km from the City
Center, on the East side of the new Japanese Bridge South en-route to Ho Chi Minh
City, Vietnam: A Site poised in the Direction of Urban Growth.
Phnom Penh: In a City at the Confluence of 4 Rivers.
Cambodia: In a Country juxtaposed between a recent turbulent War depopulating ¼ of
the people, especially those with skills and ‘Know-How’. And a more ancient past filled
with Architectural Wonder, Hydraulic Innovation and Urban Development unparalleled.
Asia: On a Continent at the Apex of Change, Influx, Technology, Super-Growth and
Fig 2. Location of Cambodia Relative to Florida
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Fig 3. Proposed Project Location relative to Phnom Penh
The original Capital City of Cambodia, was Angkor; located near present day Siem Reap.
Since that time, the Capital City of Cambodia moved to Udong and now the current Capital
City is Phnom Penh. Thus, Phnom Penh is the logical place to propose this Project. Many of
the local residents of the Capital City, Phnom Penh, have not had the opportunity to visit
the Ancient Capital City of Angkor now located near Siem Reap, 315kms north of Phnom
Penh. These same residents who have never visited the Ancient Capital have aspirations of
being tour guides in Angkor. After speaking with so many locals, and learning that most of
them share the same highest aspiration to become a tour guide in Siem Reap. It seems to me
that, as our world becomes increasingly globalised and integrated, why should an entire
population not have more diverse goals to become Doctors, Lawyers, Diplomats, Architects,
Engineers, Teachers or Hydrologists?
Preah Khan Temple City was constructed by Jayavarman VII, considered the builder king, in
the ancient Capital City of Angkor. Preah Khan, built by Buddhist King Jayavarman VII
and dedicated in 1191AD, was also a habitable walking city used for living. Constructed
before the building of Angkor Wat, Preah Khan is in Siem Reap, the ancient capital city in
the north of Cambodia. Many people from the modern Capital, Phnom Penh have never
been to Siem Reap to see the magnificent city layout and architecture of their ancestors. The
complex is the size of a small city measuring 800m x 700m from the (fourth enclosure, just
inside the moat), which is almost a half-mile on a side or 136 Acres. The temple dimensions
(third enclosure) are 200m x 175m (650' x 575'). The site is complex, and (deliberately) has
been only partially restored. The total site is 56 Hectares.
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Fig 4. Plan of Preah Khan Redraughted, March-November 2009
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Fig 5. Preah Khan North Entry Render, July 2009
Fig 6. The Pearl North Entry Elevation Render, December 2009
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What is the Architect’s Role in Society?
How to Create an Architecture that is Appropriate to Cambodia Today?
How to Create, As an Architect, a new Business Model, Hospitality
fused with Education?
The Pearl Agri-Urban Village, adapts the plan of the ancient and forgotten walking
city, Preah Khan from the 12th Century; and Reprograms its’ elements to create a Social
Project, Cultural Living Hotel and School on the Mekong near Phnom Penh, the Capital City
of Cambodia. In addition, the project shall provide education to local Cambodian children at
the heart of the project; it’s Library. I will not sideline our duty as architects for humanity.
The total site is 9.5 Hectares and is encompassed by agricultural land, as well as the Mekong
River at the north edge. Both provide food and education for sustainable living. The project
includes 121 ‘house of fire’ rest accommodations each with modern amenities. An
inscription at Preah Khan tells of 121 rest house of fire, Dharmasala, lining the ancient road
to Angkor. Also, incorporated in the project inspired by from Preah Khan are entry gopuras,
reprogrammed as reception buildings. ‘The Library’ at Preah Khan and Ancient Khmer
Temples, was a pair of freestanding buildings. These are also adopted and transformed to
become the school. The project also provides amenities including: restaurants, spa, shops,
infirmary and mail & package center.
I argue that an architect with a learned psychological program from one cultural
background can only design in another culture by submerging completely into the culture
and leaving behind all conscious efforts to bring about a moulding of the two cultures.
By virtue of the sub-un-conscious being, all that is one’s culture will manifest without overbearing the new culture.
If I design the landscape and planning with my western learning; I argue, it will never be
The Preah Khan Temple City precedent is incorporated for placement of local Bungalows
for Dwelling. The original structures and built axes are replaced and redefined with Trees to
provide a spiritual connection to the past and Khmer Roots.
Symbolically, the effort of replacing architecture with Trees, whose dignity is the very nature
which gave form to the buildings, seeks testament to the transformation necessary to
progress the architecture practice today.
As a Westerner designing in the east, the most I can ever hope to attain is an authentic effort,
if not an authentically Cambodian project.
Thus, the Pearl can attain an Architecture Appropriate to Cambodia Today, by Western
Standards alone and it is only Cambodia and Cambodians who can Accept or Reject its’
Authenticity on their Terms.
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I plan to prove that a fusion of programming with hospitality and education is not only
possible, but necessary to help resolve some of the developing world complexities.
Furthermore, Architects have a specific role to play in bettering the lives of not only those
wealthy enough, but to all those in need of shelter. We can do this by creatively reasserting
priorities; eliminating selfish desires to exploit and forging new collaborations. Architects
were responsible in the past for the structural engineering, interiors, and construction of
masterworks. Architects were Master Builders.
According to Architecture 2030, “The Building Sector is responsible for the largest
consumption of fossil fuels and natural resources in the world today. Unless the architecture,
planning and building community act now and act decisively, emerging economies will likely
follow current design and building practices leading to disastrous global consequences.”
Half the Cambodian Population is 20 years and under. The skilled and knowledgeable
Cambodians were evacuated from the Urban Core in 1975. Most died during the Khmer
Rouge Genocide. Primary Education, Grade 1-9 (14 years old) is paid by the State.
However, the Government does not pay teachers enough to survive. Thus, teachers require
students to pay 2000 riels/day (roughly US 50cents) for school. School is half-day only.
Grades 10-12 are not paid by the State. Some families, especially farmers cannot afford to
pay. The population sent to the rice fields during Pol Pot’s Reign has begun to repopulate
and many farmer’s children will need to return to the Urban Core for jobs. Very few
Vocational Schools to learn trades and even less Internship and Part-time work exist.
I propose to reinvent the ancient and forgotten Walk-able City, Preah Khan from the 12th
Century Northern Angkor Wat Region; and Re-Program its’ elements to create a Social
Project in the Southern Capital City, Phnom Penh, a model for the city and future
Sustainable Urban Development.
The Pearl is a Hotel and School on the Mekong River in Koh Prak, Kandall Province, 14 km
south of Phnom Penh.
The project invites an interactive Environment that fuses education and tourism together.
The Foundations for the architectural landscape lay spiritually with the Temple City of Preah
Casual craft vernacular Bungalows, unique to this region, are designed to have minimal
environmental impact and refined to become a building language appropriate to Cambodia
today, using rattan and brick materials.
The Pearl will be a model for future development, tourism, housing and education in
20. Sapone 20
World development can be thought of in terms of three paradigms: the cultivation of natural
resources, tourism, and communal local infrastructure development. Empower people from
within and teach the tools to those who have a vested interest in the land, create the market
for world travelers and set up a philanthropic device to manifest capital for public projects;
with a little faith, this is a trajectory for the resolution of some developing world
Which Eastern and Western Principles Factor into the Design, when a resident from
one culture designs in another?
What is the most Authentic Route; way to build?
Design Theory for Architecture Thesis:
Is there an idea that can be applied to the design of our culture the same way an idea can be
applied to the design of our buildings?
In a similar way: the idea that minimalism as a theory can be applied to the design of a pencil,
the way it can be applied to the design of a building.
What is an Architecture Thesis these days?
And more importantly:
What is an Architects’ Role in Society?
First Premise: How to make your Thesis, A Built Project, Your Career.
Working Title: How to Develop Responsibly in Cambodia: A Case Study.
Working Title 2: Urban Development in Developing Countries: A Guidebook.
Thesis Question: What is Intellectual Property? And Who Benefits?
Humanitarian Hotel with Ice Air-con floated from the Himalayan Glacier
'The Pearl' of Southeast Asia, Phnom Penh School for Local Students to ‘Teach How to
Requirement: Land must be sited in the direction of the Future Development of the City
Observations: It is surprisingly sprightly and accessible to find land and put together a
project in Cambodia. So much so, that it questions preconceptions.
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Theories Explored for Thesis:
Comparative Analysis of Eastern and Western Design Philosophies and how they evolve
To set up a design ontology for a theoretical basis on which to build an Architectural Thesis.
Conclusion: “How you get your various vocations organizes your style.”
Style comes from culture.
Contemporary Culture and its Influence on Architecture Today:
Architectural and Theoretical Study: Kenneth Frampton’s Critical Regionalism and
Postmodern Cultural Theories with Design Implementation of Contemporary Western
Architects: Rem Koolhaus, and Bernard Tschumi...Zaha Hadid. To Compare and contrast
with Contemporary Eastern Architects Geoffry Bawa, Tan Hock Beng, William Lim,
WOHA, and Tadao Ando.
Literature Review Outline:
Kenneth Framption’s Critical Regionalism
How to create an architecture of tectonics appropriate to Cambodia today.
Architecturally Relevant Philosophy: Martin Heidegger, German, 1950’s
Considered a great philosopher of the 20th Century. Seminal Work: Being and Time.
His arguments on Authenticity, Mood, and Dwelling explored.
Heidegger refutes Kant’s rationalist interpretation that “knowledge of external objects can be
referential”. Instead he argues, “Knowledge is subject to the conditions we experience.”
Heidegger wrote “…Poetically, Man dwells…”
To understand how to create a poetic dwelling ambiance on Cambodian terms.
Finnish Architect Juhani Pallasmaa’s: Six themes for the next millennium
“Can Architecture Re-create a Tradition, a shared ground which provides a basis for the
Criteria of Authenticity and Quality?”
The six themes essential for the strengthening of architecture's position in the post-historical
1. Slowness, 2. Plasticity, 3. Sensuousness, 4. Authenticity,
5. Idealisation, 6. Silence.
He Defines Authenticity:
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“More as the Quality of Deep Rootedness in the stratification of culture”
Contemporary Culture and its Influence on Architecture Today: Capital Market and the
Free Market of Meaning and Value: Deleuze and Guattari
“While capital economy frees us from being stuck with old systems of meaning and value, it
does nothing to provide us with alternatives. And so we are left to our own devices to
encounter forces that shred egos and personalities to pieces and crumble empires that have
existed for a millennium. Capitalism both produces this condition of the uncoded and
unmediated real and at the same time constantly constructs artificial territories to ward it off.
We get caught in a system that on the one hand removes all the mediation between things so
that the markets are in fact free flowing, but then has to immediately step in and insert
artificially created mediations, simulations and forces. We are swamped in a media culture
that does anything but keep us from having to directly encounter anything but a shopping
mall. We watch all our wars on T.V. and do all our trading online. We haven’t a clue to
what is real, it seems to us that this is something that is totally lost and un-recoverable. This
is my society, anyway, here in the West. Only those things which can be reproduced are
considered real. And yet that is exactly what is not real. That is a simulation of reality.
Models take the place of the modeled. Copies take the place of the originals.”
To Create an Authentic architecture, drawing on the Cambodia’s vernacular and
Theoretical Basis for Thesis in Cambodia: French Cultural Critic: Jean Baudrillard
“We live in the time of the simulacrum, copies without originals. We get so lost, there is no
way back to the original. The joke that is made about Disneyland is not that it’s a cover up
of reality, but a cover up that covers up that there is nothing left to cover up. People leave
Disneyland and go to their cars in the parking lot and think they have moved from the
unreal back to the real. What a farce.”
To reflect on how not to create a Disneyland out of Cambodia.
Conclusion: When designing in a location foreign to your natural habitat, always remember
Truth is in the Tectonics of the Local Structure. Authenticity is found in the local building
Traditions and the local Living Culture.
The power in Architecture is found in the pallet of materials, which is properly determined
by the location of the building. If not in the location, then today in a globalized society, even
as innovations and emergent materials are manifesting, the range is determined within the
small realm of the physical.
Emotion secretes only through the depth of the material and space over time.
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Electricity is Government Imported and 3x More Expensive than Vietnam:
32 Amps costs $500 for a 3 Phase installation
1 KW/ 25cents 3000W to air-condition one room, one day is $18, one month is
Electricity is Unreliable with outages lasting a month at times, especially for
nongovernment affiliated users
Solar is 1 W/ $5 equipment 15W Solar Panels, 200 Panels to get 3000W costs $1,000
Hydrogen Power Plant Development on the Mekong is 10 years out and billions in
research planning and being performed by non-Cambodian Governments, China and
Vietnam. Hydro Energy may reduce 1 KW to 15cents
Overview of Site Issues
Two Seasons: Wet and Dry: The Climate in Cambodia is as Tropical Wet and Dry; yearly
temperature ranges from 64 -100 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average yearly rainfall of 54.8
Every October and November, the Country is inundated with Rain Water and Flooding.
According to increasing number of environmentalists and climate scientists, the glaciers
are melting as a result of global warming with incalculable consequences for Cambodia
and countries as far off as Pakistan(1).
The capital city sits at the convergence of 4 rivers and midway through the rainy season,
the tides turn and the direction of river flow changes.
The Himalayan glaciers supply 8.6 million cubic meters (304 cu ft) of water every year to
Asian rivers, including the Mekong. During the dry seasons, melt water from Glaciers
flows down to rivers that would otherwise be very low. Every year in March and April,
local Cambodians pack away wood for cooking, hay for the horses, store rice and
prepare for the water.
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Fig 7. The Pearl Site Issues, Wet and Dry Season Wind Conditions
Fig 8. Kean Sray, The Pearl Site Issues and Cambodia Statistics
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Fig 9. The Pearl Agri-Urban Village Profile (Concept Pre-Design Ideas)
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The people who can afford to have Transportation, ride on scooters.
In the next 10 years traffic will completely clog the roadways in the growing urban core
environment, and signs of this growing problem are already evident.
Primary Education, Grade 1-9 (14 years old) is paid by the State. However, the
Government does not pay teachers enough to survive. Thus, teachers require students to
pay 2000 riels/day (roughly US 50cents) for school. School is half-day only. Grades 10-12
are not paid by the State. Some families, especially farmers cannot afford to pay. The
population sent to the rice fields during Pol Pot’s Reign has begun to repopulate and soon
too many farmer’s children will be around without enough agricultural jobs and the need
again to return to the Urban Core has already begun. Very few Vocational Schools to learn
trades and even less Internship and Part-time work exist.
Half the Population is 20 years and under. The skilled and knowledgeable Cambodians were
evacuated from the Urban Core and Phnom Penh capital city center in 1975. Most died
during the nearly 4 year intensive return to agrarian society imposed on the people by the
I propose to adapt the plan of the ancient and forgotten city, Preah Khan from the 12th
Century; and Reprogram its’ elements to create a Social Project, Cultural Living Hotel and
School in the Capital City, Phnom Penh, an icon for the city.
Yet, innovate, modernize and propose a tropical museum-like hotel on the riverfront and
island made from the ice of the Himalayan Glacier dropped off and floated down the river.
The site will provide education and housing to locals. Ice will also be stowed beneath the
hotel for cooling and incorporate natural insulation systems. This it is hoped will help
alleviate some of the potential risks associated with glacial melting by carrying the ice
downstream and productively reusing it. It should also aid in reducing energy costs
associated with unsustainable practices used to formulate air-conditioning. When the tides
turn during the rainy season, the boats crafted by locals return naturally row-boat style to the
north and prepare again for the journey to bring ice south. Water reuse and recycling
systems will also be proposed with new modus system inventions. As well as, flexible pvc
piping amphibious housing, stilt construction and on-water living interventions.
The project fuses Sustainable Practice, Tourism, Potential Natural Disaster Aversion and
Provides locals with jobs, internships, skills, rediscovered knowledge of their ancestral
building and hydraulic heritage as well as, future careers and trades to the local population.
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Fig 10. Interior Corbel Section Idea for Cooling System at The Pearl, August 2009
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Sustainable Water Aversion Proposition: The Pearl Ecological Humanitarian Living
Hotel and School in Phnom Penh, Cambodia fuses Sustainable Practice, Potential Natural
Disaster Aversion, Tourism and Provides locals with Jobs, Education, Mentorships, Skills,
Rediscovered knowledge of the Khmer Ancestral Building and Hydraulic Heritage as well as,
future Eco-Intelligent Careers to the local population.
Innovating to create a Culturally Rich Hotel and School for the City on the Mekong River;
the site will provide flexible pvc pipe amphibious housing and stilt construction to protect
from flooding and will be packed with ice filled walls and subflooring. Ice fallen from the
Himalayan Glacier will be productively reused and carried along the Mekong incorporating
Hydrogen Fuel Cell boats, insulated with @Greensulate or similar; thereby, alleviating some
potential flood risks associated with glacial melting by carrying the ice downstream and
productively reusing it. Walls without ice will adapt a biolife system akin to that of the E.
chlorotica sea slug. Together, these interventions will also aid in reducing energy costs and
CO2 emissions associated with fossil fuels used to formulate air-conditioning. When the
tides turn during the rainy season, Cambodian Style boats crafted by locals with hydrogen
fuel cell technology will return along the Mekong to the Himalayas and prepare again for the
journey to bring ice south. In addition, the wall systems at the school and hotel will use
@Ecovate natural insulation systems. Natural water cleansing, reuse and recycling systems
will be incorporated into the wall systems to provide drinking water and local sustainable
agriculture. Naturally occurring, not engineered in a lab, the Hybrid. Plant + Animal genes
Solar Powered Sea Slug will inform new Trade Technologies On-Site.
Fig. 11. Solar Powered Sea-Slug Inspiration for Trade Technologies On-Site
All Houses and Development to Take Part in Amphibious and Floating House
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A quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level and 2/3 of the population lives in this
Systematic precautions, such as levees, dikes and water pumps are not enough in lowland
territories with climates prone to flooding. In Developing Countries, the goal is to
implement the best building practices to alleviate unnecessary hardship from Natural
Disaster. Hence, amphibious and floating housing will be integrated into the design.
This housing is recommended for New Orleans, Mississippi, Nepal, Bangladesh and flood
prone territories such as Phnom Penh.
Fig 12. Example of Floating Homes by Duravemeer
Amphibious Housing Code:
1. Foundations: Transform into a float. House is to be built for land, in accompaniment
with seafaring ability. Houses must have the ability to float up to 18 feet above ground.
Foundations should not be anchored to the earth and should be fastened to between 15 and
18-foot-long mooring posts with sliding rings.
2. Pilings: Hollow concrete-encased foam core, secured with steel cables against the pull of
potential currents. Columns are to be driven deep into solid ground. Steel pilings are to be
installed to resist horizontal, side-to-side movements.
3. Cellars: To be built on a platform, not below ground.
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4. Walkways: Individual Pontoons are to have the ability to join to one another to form
residential blocks for maritime settlement.
5. Electrical, Plumbing, Natural Gas, Drinking water and drainage: All to be housed in
flexible PVC piping inside the mooring piles all to set sail with house.
5. Construction: Walls and floors of lightweight wooden panels and façade cladding in
6. Base: Hollow concrete cube
7. Allowable: Split-level accommodation, wooden balconies, and clapboard exteriors.
Floating House Code Variation
1. Platform: To be made of @Ecovate (natural equivalent to Styrofoam) wrapped in a thin
shell of concrete
How the Pearl will Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Electricity in Phnom Penh is
unreliable with outages lasting a month at times, especially for local users.
Solar Energy costs $5 for equipment. 15W Solar Panels are needed. So, 200 Solar Panels are
needed to get 3000W of energy costing $1000.
Hydro Energy may reduce 1 KW to 15 cents. Though, Hydrogen Power Plants on the
Mekong are 10 years out, costly and performed by non-Cambodian Governments, China
“An ice storage facility was introduced, and large effects in energy saving and operation cost
were confirmed as a result of the one year operation. The outline of the system using ice
storage and a brine turborefrigerator with zero ozone destruction coefficient, results of the
operation and energy saving effect were introduced. Average performance coefficient (COP)
in a year of the refrigerator for ice making was improved from 3.3 to 4.1. The reduction of
not only electric fee but also the electric power use is expected by the introduction of the ice
storage facility.” (2).
The Production and Development Process: The site has been selected and is an island in
the southern region of Phnom Penh. The site is government owned and can be leased for
99years. One initial step is to hire the local law firm with both Cambodian and Western
lawyers, who are experienced in the local legal acquiring of the land. Next, lease the land,
which will require a deposit between $40 – 70,000 US, set the lease payments, and obtain
building permits. The materials will be supplied locally in Southeast Asia, first and foremost
in Cambodia, and labor will be supplied by local Cambodians, who will be paid wages and
benefits above the local norm also benefiting from safe construction practices that are
needed in the country. Engineering experts and construction superintendent and
contractors will be hired from Europe and America to oversee the construction process to
ensure quality and safe construction and to resupply locals with some of the lost
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environmental building traditions and safety practice. The site is located in the direction of
Urban Growth and access is on a roadway which is at the highest level of government
improvements in the country and is routed towards Ho Chi Minh City. Access to these
resources has already been made available and foreign investment is welcomed and
facilitated in Cambodia. Now it is a question of securing the land and physically developing
What is needed besides money to turn The Pearl into a Success: I will need to hire
experts and advisors in the fields of local law and international contracts, a chief financial
officer, a construction contractor, engineer, surveyor, boat manufacturer, ecologist and
hydrologist. As well as local Cambodians to work on and manage the project. In addition to
creating the curriculum for students with the aid of local NGO's and teachers worldwide.
Technical and/or Financial Partners: I have met with Law Firm DFDL in Cambodia to
discuss the project, CARE – Cambodian Angkor Real Estate to find sites, Engineer in Hong
Kong, multiple local non-profit organizations for education, local foreign business owners,
as well as a local foreign businessman in partnership with the Cambodian Minister of Justice
together Landowning 600 hectares of agriculture land in Cambodia. Though, Only
Stakeholders: The stakeholders are the local population benefitting from jobs, education,
skills, interface with international clients and future career opportunities in Cambodia and
abroad. The other important stakeholder is the earth, who will benefit from a responsible
non destructive project. In addition, stakeholder in this project are the companies producing
alternative and environmentally sensitive products who will benefit from having their
products used in this project. Finally, the future stakeholders will benefit from the profits of
this hotel and school, which will go to build new projects with this concept in various other
Stakeholders are also the entities practicing corporate social responsibility, and invest in this
Thus future of the building trade, profession and building inhabitants are stakeholders, as
well, benefitting from the realisation of this project as precedent for the future of
environmentally astute construction practice and humanitarian focused developing country,
whereby developing world business models.
Market, Marketing and Sales:
Target Market: Tourists both from Southeast Asia and Abroad, Locals, Philanthropists,
Humanitarians, Academics, those with interest in Education, Architecture, Historians, and
people interested in the Environment and Innovative Solutions to resolving current day
economic and social issues.
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Situated at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap Rivers, Cambodia’s capital,
Phnom Penh has a population of approximately two million people. Phnom Penh’s wealth
of historical and cultural sites makes it a very popular tourist destination. Phnom Penh, once
known as the “Pearl of Asia, is a significant global and domestic tourist destination. Along
with Siem Reap, Phnom Penh is considered among the strongest and most resilient
hospitality markets in the World. Cambodia's main industries are garments, tourism, and
construction. The tourism industry is the country's second-greatest source of hard currency
after the textile industry. 1 In 2007, foreign visitors to Angkor Wat alone hit almost 4
million. 2 50% of visitor arrivals are to Angkor, and most of the remainder to Phnom
Penh. 3 The market is characterized by a severe supply/demand imbalance resulting from
favorable climate conditions and from increasing demand as the Country’s political
reputation stabilizes and popularity has spread worldwide. The resiliency of the Cambodian
market has been demonstrated with demand, rates and occupancies considerably
outperforming other vacation area markets.
Structure of Target Market: main competitors, suppliers, other companies: While
other destinations exist to visit throughout the world, none offers such a dynamically
packaged and innovative approach to education, culture, business, luxury, recreation,
relaxation, and eco-tourism. Three local hotels, Raffles Le Royal, Cambodiana, and
InterContinental are considered to be 5-Star, though none compare; nor do they offer the
Environmental Sensitivity and Humanitarian Connection. Hotel De la Paix in Siem Reap
has a somewhat similar concept, however they are not located in the capital city and the
hotel does not take into consideration environmental issues.
Market Size and the Market Potential: In 2007, foreign visitors to Angkor Wat alone hit
almost 4 million. 50% of visitor arrivals are to Angkor, and most of the remainder to
Phnom Penh. The market is characterized by a severe supply/demand imbalance resulting
from favorable climate conditions and from increasing demand as the Country’s political
reputation stabilizes and popularity has spread worldwide. The resiliency of the Cambodian
market has been demonstrated with demand, rates and occupancies considerably
outperforming other vacation area markets.
What will your product/service cost? Approximate opening of $150-350/day for the
Hotel and selling price of $150,000 for the Dharmasala Trade homes and $250,000 for the
Skyline Drive Homes. Rooms in stilt construction within the site will be priced to
accommodate back-packing crowds between $15-45.
The total per-key cost for the 121 units of the Humanitarian Hotel and Homes is
approximately $115,000. This amount includes all development, construction and opening
costs for the entire mixed-use program, less estimated land allocations to the for-sale Trade
Homes and Skyline Drive Homes. The 17 Trade and 18 Skyline 255sqm homes are ecoamphibious, flexible pvc and have 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths, organized around private
US Department of State. Country Profile of Cambodia. Accessed July 26, 2006.
San Miguel eyes projects in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar
Royal Government of Cambodia. Tourist statistics. Accessed July 24, 2006.
33. Sapone 33
central courtyards or along the community pilot strip. When not using homes, the owner’s
have the option of placing them into a rental program administered by the Hotel, retaining
50% of the revenues. The homes can be converted into two smaller units vies-a-vies a lockoff.
At a $200,000 average sales price, the for-sale component is projected to generate gross sales
revenue of $7 million and pre-tax cash flow of $3 million.
No speculative building is planned for this development, sales will be made from a model
and construction of units will only follow receipt of initial deposits. The project has a
projected 18-month timetable.
Skyline Drive and the Dharmasala Trade Homes produce substantial cash flow during the
early stages of the project while the Hotel is building towards stabilization.
Sales Target: To safely achieve the sales targets, I have calculated the hotel capacity at 50%
and found that a substantial profit can be achieved, whereby providing for the School and
Mentorship program as well as the allocation of funds to future humanitarian hotel projects
around the world.
Also, in Phnom Penh many foreigners live and work in the non-profit, medical and business
sector. A portion of the hotel rooms can be allotted to Service Apartments as this demand
has been presented.
Inform Potential Customers: Creative Marketing., Internet, Print, Video Media
Indicate the internal strengths and weaknesses of the person, the product and the company.
Name the external opportunities and threats presented by the market, consumers, the
Local Lack of Knowledge
Local Local Skills
Local Safety Practice
First Project of Its Kind
Spurs Economic Development
Lose Key Staff
Developed Countries helping Developing
Minimal Corruption, though existing
Developed Countries Learning from
Increased Skills and Safety Practice
Spur Economic Development
34. Sapone 34
I will hire experts and advisors in the fields of local law and international contracts, a
construction cost estimator, a construction contractor, engineer, surveyor, boat
manufacturer, ecologist and hydrologist. Also, local Cambodians will work on and manage
the project. In addition, to creating the curriculum for students with the aid of local NGO's
and teachers worldwide; I will secure the land, seek further investors and lay the
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Fig 13. The Pearl Village Profile, Programmatic Analysis p. 33-36
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Fig 14. One of Best Current Technology NGO Educational Facilities, Phnom Penh
Fig 15. Children at the NGO Educational Facility, Phnom Penh
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Fig 16. The NGO Educational Facility, Phnom Penh
Fig 17. Children at the NGO Educational Facility, Phnom Penh
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Fig 18. Computer Station at the NGO Educational Facility , Phnom Penh
Fig 19. The NGO Educational Facility, Phnom Penh
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Fig 20. Outside the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
My Design Objectives are to create this project in an architectural manner; finance and
develop the project thereafter. Thus, this section takes the form of a Business Plan.
The Pearl Humanitarian Hotel and School
Project Summary and Investment Overview
The Pearl Humanitarian Hotel is an eco-friendly holistic 121 Unit Luxury Resort
Hotel and Integrated Educational Facility for Poverty - Stricken Children in Phnom
Penh, Cambodia. This Multi-Purpose Project is comprised of three components, the
hotel, the school, and the homes. The hotel is a 121 unit luxury hotel built of locally
crafted, sustainable design modules with materials indigenous to the region. The
school is an educational facility for poverty – stricken children, especially children at
high risk of becoming victim to prostitution trafficking. The School will take the
form of the Cambodian Library. Structures conventionally known as “libraries” are
common features of Khmer temple architecture, but their true purpose remains unknown.
42. Sapone 42
Freestanding buildings, they were normally placed in pairs on either side of the entrance to
an enclosure, opening to the west. 4 The homes are 35 for-sale residential homes; 17 of
these homes are for the purpose of fractional ownership, mainly to bring in trades
viable for the production of a sustainable community. The 18 remaining homes with
guest suites will be constructed on Skyline Drive. Each home will have a private
airplane hangar. At the heart of the community is a Buddhist Temple. Amidst the
community is Bella’s Hariti fine dining organic restaurant. Hariti was worshipped in all
early Buddhist monasteries. She was represented as a mother goddess holding a child with
others around her. The goddess protective of children is also the goddess against illnesses
and diseases. 5 Surrounding Bella’s Hariti is an organic herb and vegetable garden.
Beyond the Buddhist Temple and Bella’s Hariti and within the property is Bella’s
natural pool created from the hollowing of earthen laterite, which is used to construct
the foundations and parts of the buildings. Angkorian builders used laterite, a clay that is
soft when taken from the ground but that hardens when exposed to the sun, for foundations
and other hidden parts of the buildings. Because the surface of laterite is uneven, it was not
suitable for decorative carvings, unless first dressed with stucco. Laterite was more
commonly used in Khmer provinces than at Angkor itself. 6 In axial alignment with the
pool is the Resort’s spiritual oasis and spa. The property will be operated as a single
Construction is scheduled to commence in 4Q-10 with completion and project opening in
The Pearl Ecological Humanitarian Hotel and School will finalize its $23.025 million capital
The summary terms of the capital structure are:
- Total Size of Financing: $21.025 million
- Land Cost: $3.5 million
- Senior Loan: $8.875 million
- Letter of Credit Securing Senior Loan: $.875 million
- Preferred Equity: $5.5 million
- Equity (total): $17.525 million
o Invested (A&D stage): $4.125 million
Freeman and Jacques, Ancient Angkor, p.30.
I. Johne, Ein Medaillon mit einer Hariti, Darstellung im Museum fur Indische Kunst. Indo-Asiatische Zeitschrift., 6/7 Berlin, 2003,
pp. 48-57; I., JOHNE, Pancika or Pharro? Berliner Indologische Studien. 15/16/17 Reinbeck, 2004, PP. 421-438
Freeman and Jacques, Ancient Angkor, p.29.
43. Sapone 43
o Committed (construction stage): $13.9 million
Trust - $9.4 million
Hotel Management Co. - $3.0 million
School Management Co. - $1.5 million
Pearl Humanitarian Hotel and School is Located in the Capital
of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.
Situated at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap Rivers,
Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh has a population of approximately two million
people. Despite some dilapidation resulting from decades of war, the city retains
its traditional Khmer and colonial charm. French villas along tree-lined
boulevards remind the visitor that the city was once considered a gem of Southeast
Asia. Double-digit economic growth rates in recent years have triggered an
economic boom, with new hotels, restaurants and residential buildings springing up
around the city. Phnom Penh’s wealth of historical and cultural sites makes it a
very popular tourist destination. 7
On the Riverfront, Phnom Penh’s South National Road 1, 4Km
from the City Center, on the East side of the new Japanese
Bridge South under-construction and scheduled to open
November 2009, en-route to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: A Site
poised in the Direction of Urban Growth. Phnom Penh: In a City
at the Confluence of 4 Rivers. Cambodia: In a Country juxtaposed
between a recent turbulent War depopulating ¼ of the people,
especially those with skills and ‘Know-How’. And a more ancient
past filled with Architectural Wonder, Hydraulic Innovation and
Urban Development unparalleled. Asia: On a Continent at the Apex
of Change, Influx, Technology, SuperGrowth and Movement.
Entitlements processing, pre-construction development and Use
Permit approval will be achieved with the direction of local
Cambodian builders, officials, and contacts, culminating with
certification of build-out prior to the commencement of on-site
The Pearl Humanitarian Hotel will contain all permits and uses
necessary for an extraordinary development.
44. Sapone 44
The project includes:
121 ‘house of fire’ rest accommodations each with modern
amenities, 11 - 17 square meter private garden patios and outdoor
o 17 rest house units – 10 x 12 meter family suites
o 17 rest house units – 8 x 8 meter private suites
o 34 rest house units – 5 x 6 meter deluxe standard
o 53 rest house units – 4 x 4 meter standard rooms
760 square meter entry gopura reception building
‘The Library’: A pair of Freestanding Buildings at the entry to
provide education to local Cambodian Children
2 food and beverage outlets including a 100 seat public cafeteria
“bella’s hariti” (1,100 square meter building area); and a private
neighborhood restaurant “bella casa” with indoor and outdoor
dining spaces for approximately 80 seats, to be utilized by hotel
guests, students and homeowners only (760 square meters)
3rd outlet is a 48 seat public “bella viti” room with private dining
(180 square meters.)
500 square meter full service spa with gardens
1,100 square meters of flexible banquet / meeting space
3 outdoor swimming pools; the main pool and 2 secondary pools;
1 for learning to swim; and the 2nd hot/cold treatment pool for
250 square meter Fitness Room and outdoor meandering
250 square meter specialty food, wine retail, boutique with post
760 square meter public square with herb, vegetable and
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Site / Location:
Downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia, South East Asia
The country borders Thailand to its west and northwest, Laos to its
northeast, and Vietnam to its east and southeast. In the south, Cambodia faces
the Gulf of Thailand. The geography of Cambodia is dominated by the Mekong
river (colloquial Khmer: Tonle Thom or "the great river") and the Tonlé Sap
("the fresh water lake"), an important source of fish. 8
Phnom Penh, like other Asian-City tourist destinations, is in the
of rapid change. Over the past few years the number of restaurants
and hotels has grown considerably and in the last year there had been
a huge increase in the number of visitors. There are now direct daily
flights from several Asian cities and three overland border crossing
have opened since 1998. Even travel within the country is easier with
several airlines flying domestic routes, regular bus service to major
cities like Sihanouk Ville and Kampong Cham and road conditions
throughout the country have been gradually improving. Cambodia is
becoming easier to visit every day. 9
The total area in Phnom Penh is 375 Km2. With 1.3 million
inhabitants, the population growth rate is 3.2% per year about 40,000
inhab./year (NIS-1998) or about 8.000 families/year.
Phnom Penh includes 7 Districts, 76 Communes, and 637 Villages.
It is classified as the 314th city in the world. 10
Phnom Penh, once known as the “Pearl of Asia, is a significant
global and domestic tourist destination. Along with Siem Reap,
Phnom Penh is considered among the strongest and most resilient
hospitality markets in the World. Cambodia's main industries are
garments, tourism, and construction. The tourism industry is the
country's second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile
industry. 11 In 2007, foreign visitors to Angkor Wat alone hit almost 4
million. 12 50% of visitor arrivals are to Angkor, and most of the
remainder to Phnom Penh. 13 The market is characterized by a severe
supply/demand imbalance resulting from favorable climate
conditions and from increasing demand as the Country’s political
reputation stabilizes and popularity has spread worldwide. These
factors are widely expected to continue, providing a highly favorable
US Department of State. Country Profile of Cambodia. Accessed July 26, 2006.
San Miguel eyes projects in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar
Royal Government of Cambodia. Tourist statistics. Accessed July 24, 2006.
46. Sapone 46
environment for hospitality properties. The resiliency of the
Cambodian market has been demonstrated despite former political
and civil strife, with demand, rates and occupancies considerably
outperforming other vacation area markets.
The project draws on the rich heritage of the land, traditions and
architecture of the region to create a distinct sense of community,
reminiscent of a Cambodian vernacular style village of the late 12th
century monarch Jayavarman VII: Ta Prohm, Preah Kahn, Banteay
Kdei and Banteay Chhmar, yet reinvented to fit modern climate,
ecological and human needs. The ambiance will be rural and
unpretentious, yet with all construction and materials of very high
quality. The rest houses are forms of House of Fire or Dharmasala.
Originally, these functioned as a “rest house for travelers”. An
inscription at Preah Khan tells of 121 such rest houses lining the
highways into Angkor. The Chinese traveler Zhou Daguan
expressed his admiration for these rest houses when he visited
Angkor in 1296 A.D. 14 Each will enjoy a very high degree of privacy,
but there will also be generous amounts of well-landscaped public
open space. Architecture, land planning and landscape design is
provided for MArch Thesis with comments from designers and
architects of highly acclaimed design firms and refined thereafter.
Approximate opening of $150 - $350 for the Hotel room and selling
price of $150,000 for the Dharmasala Trade homes and $250,000 for
the Skyline Drive Homes.
The 17 luxury detached Trade Homes have 3 bedrooms and 2
baths, fireplaces, a great room and rooftop decks. The 255 square
meter homes are each organized around a private central courtyard.
The land underneath the homes will be under a long term lease with
the Hotel ownership entity as lessor. Owner’s will have access to
Hotel amenities. When not using their homes, the owner’s will have
the option of placing them into a rental program administered by the
Hotel, which retains 50% of the revenues. The homes can be
converted into two smaller units vies-a-vies a lock-off.
At a $200,000 average sales price, the for-sale component is projected
to generate gross sales revenue of $7 million and pre-tax cash flow of
Coedès, Pour mieux comprendre Angkor, p.197f.
47. Sapone 47
The 18 luxury detached Dhamasala Skyline Drive Community
Homes have 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths and a guest suite option for
pilots complete with fireplaces, a great room and rooftop decks. The
255 square meter homes are each organized along the community
take-off & landing strip.
No speculative building is planned for this development, sales will be
made from a model and construction of units will only follow receipt
of initial deposits. The project has a projected 18-month timetable.
Skyline Drive and the Dharmasala Trade Homes produce substantial
cash flow during the early stages of the project while the Hotel is
building towards stabilization.
Entitlements for Bella Humanitarian Hotel will be received in 3Q-09,
and a construction loan will close in 1Q-10 with construction
commencing immediately thereafter, based on building permits,
which will be in-hand at this time.
Entitlements, Construction and Phasing:
2/3/4Q-09 1/2Q-10 3/4Q-10 1Q-11 2Q-11 3Q-11 4Q-11 1Q-12 2Q-12
Humanitarian ce Visit /
48. Sapone 48
The ‘Library’ School
Gopura Reception, Rest ‘house of fire’ Phase 1
Bella’s Hariti, Buddha Temple & Spa
Entitlements, Construction and Phasing Cont.:
2/3/4Q-09 1/2Q-10 3/4Q-10 1Q-11 2Q-11 3Q-11 4Q-11 1Q-12 2Q-12
Rest ‘House of Fire’ Phase 2
Bella Viti, Gardens
B Knot Boutique & Retail
Construction of 24
detached and all other
Phased Sales / Deliveries
Drive, based on
Loan Funding for The Pearl Humanitarian Hotel Reconnaissance
Visit, Schematic, Design Development, and Construction Documents,
and Engineering began 1Q-09. Loan Funding for Acquisition and
49. Sapone 49
Entitlements is expected to begin 3Q-09. Loan Funding for
Permitting and Construction is expected to begin 1Q-10. The
construction plan anticipates an accelerated construction of the Hotel
‘house of fire’ rest accomodations in the The Pearl Humanitarian
property, resulting in a complete hotel with the first 97 units, Local
School for Youth Education, Mentorships and Trades, Reception,
Spa, Hotel Guest Dining and Student Dining Facility, and Bella Viti
Restaurant will open in 1Q-11. The remaining 24 units, retail
facilities and other aspects of the The Pearl Humanitarian program
will open in 2Q-11, approximately six months later.
Construction contracts for the Hotel will be finalized, based on bids
received from all key construction trades and non-construction
vendors in Phnom Penh and local areas. All work on the project will
be contracted using Open-Book, Guaranteed Maximum Price or
Fixed Price contracts. The construction phase is twelve months
pursuant to the approved construction schedule.
Per Key Cost:
The total per-key cost for the 121 units of the Humanitarian Hotel
and Homes is approximately $115,000. This amount includes all
development, construction and opening costs for the entire mixeduse program, less estimated land allocations to the for-sale Trade
Homes and Skyline Drive Homes.
Estimating hotel capacity safely at 50% found that a substantial profit
can be achieved, whereby providing for the School and Mentorship
program as well as the allocation of funds to future humanitarian
hotel projects around the world.
In Phnom Penh many ex-patriots live and work in the non-profit,
medical and business sector. A portion of the hotel rooms can be
allotted to Service Apartments as this demand has been presented.
Key Development Team Members:
LLC Manager / Developer
Land Planning and Architecture
A construction financing commitment for The Pearl
Humanitarian Hotel and Homes will be in place with (place
50. Sapone 50
based subsidiary of a major foreign bank). The $8.5 million
commitment provides for the acquisition of the land. The
acquisition loan will be successfully participated and is
scheduled to close 2Q-09. The $22.4 million commitment
provides for construction and mini-perm financing of $20
million for the Hotel plus a $2.4 million revolving facility for
the Homes and Skyline Drive. The construction loan will be
successfully participated and is scheduled to close in 4Q-09.
The total equity and mezzanine requirements are $16.625
million. Excluding the $750,000 startup investment required.
Interested parties can arrange for a site visit and tour of the
prototype rest ‘house of fire’. A financial package and
complete due diligence materials will be provided to qualified
prospective buyers. Please Contact:
The Pearl Humanitarian Hotel and School
The investment represents a turnkey opportunity to
participate in the creation and ownership of an upscale Bella
Humanitarian Group Resort Property – a truly privileged
asset in one of the World’s oldest heritage, prestigious and
51. Sapone 51
TS 1. Ankgor, Cambodia Field Sketch
TS 2. Preah Khan, Double Height Round Column, Sacred Sword, North Elevation
52. Sapone 52
TS 3. Preah Khan, Double Height Round Column, Sacred Sword, East Elevation
53. Sapone 53
TS 4. Preah Khan, Temple for Buddhist Gods, Southwest Quadrant, West Elevation
54. Sapone 54
TS 5. Preah Khan, Dharmasala, Rest House, Southeast Quadrant, North Elevation
TS 6. Preah Khan, Dharmasala, Rest House, Southeast Quadrant, Plan
55. Sapone 55
TS 7. Preah Khan, Temple for Buddhist Gods, Northeast Quadrant, East Elevation
56. Sapone 56
I. Project of the Development Master Plan of Phnom Penh
Preah Khan was built in the ancient Capital City of Angkor. Since that time the
Capital City of Cambodia has moved first to Udong and now the current Capital City is
Phnom Penh. Thus the Capital City, Phnom Penh is the logical place to propose this
Project. Moreover, many of the local residents have not had the opportunity to visit the
Ancient Capital of Angkor now located in close proximity to Siem Reap. Furthermore,
these same residents who have never visited the Ancient Capital have aspirations of
being Tour Guides in Angkor. While, this is fantastic, after speaking with so many locals,
and learning that more than 98% of them share the same highest Aspiration ie. Tour
Guide. It seems to me that, as our world becomes increasingly globalised and integrated,
why should an entire population not have goals to become Doctors, Lawyers, Diplomats,
Architects, Engineers, Teachers or Hydrologists?
Project of The Development
Master Plan of Phnom Penh
Total area : 375 Km2
Inhabitants : 1.300.300
Yearly population growth: 4%
Administrative Division :
+ 7 Districts
57. Sapone 57
2-World Integration and Physical Infrastructure
4-Land use Optimization and Efficiency Towards Public Servitudes
5- Housing Policy and Poverty reduction
-One of the Capital Cities with 1.3 million
inhabitants. It is classified the 314 the city in the
-Population growth rate=3.2% per year about 40.000
inhab./year (NIS-1998) or about 8.000 families/year.
-GNP US$ 830 per capita , 80 times less than
Thailand and Singapore.
Métropole , Agglomération , Municipalité 2000 - 2020
Source : Institut National de la Statistique ( INS ) , JICA and BAU
source : INS
Source : INS
Source : JICA+BAU
58. Sapone 58
2-World Integration and Physical Infrastructure
-Phnom Penh-centre of Service for 6 million people
in the range of 100Km. It is half of the whole
Population of the country. (in the same range:
Bangkok-9millions, Hanoi-8millions, HCM7millions, KL-4millions, Singapore-4millions)
-By 2020 the number of that population will increase
Growth economic corridor :
Bangkok-Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh (NR1,NR2,
NR5,NR6, Railways, Airway)
Sihanouk Ville (Port)-Phnom Penh- Upper Mekong
region (NR3, NR4, NR7, Railway, Mekong
59. Sapone 59
Connections between Phnom Penh and Thailand
and Sihanouk Ville are in use.
Asean Railway is planned to connect Phnom Penh to
the rest of the world.
We need to improve the rail and transportation
Road network and Logistic Organization
-Dry port at Samrong Triangle
-Dry ports at all city gates
-Road network connects Phnom Penh to all
60. Sapone 60
Current Land use
Total area of the capital city is about 375km3 :
- 80% natural lake and agriculture.
- 20% urban area = 6200ha
- Medium density: 130 inhab./ha (500inhab./ha in
the centre and 50 inhab./in the suburb.)
Following the rapid growth of about 10.000 families per year, so the city need to:
1-To promote the investment on housing development esp. for the poor.
2-To improve roads and other infrastructure system in the suburb area that could absorb 90% of urban growth.
3-To implement the land reform and social land concession, land sharing and relocation with private partners.
4-To encourage the development of dwellings for lease .
5-To encourage the poor communities to rehabilitate their old settlements with the low rate loan and banking
61. Sapone 61
1-To define the maximum reserved area for future
-future extension of airport,
-reserved area for ASEAN railway station at
-Dry ports, and
-other reserved space for future transportation
2-To define the state land : -lakes, -canals, -rail way, roads and -green area.
62. Sapone 62
3-To create the new urban centers to prevent urban sprawl and anarchic urbanization and to promote the
development in the suburban area, which are able to absorb the rapid urban growth and so that people will live
next to their jobs.
Secondary centers based On the local potentiality and
future city extension :
4-To extend the city within the radius of 30km
around the old centre.
5-To enhance public-private partnership to promote
investment on housing development and improve
63. Sapone 63
6-To enhance the identity of the city as well as the
landscape (garden city) by preserving the existing
traditional villages around the city, to develop and
preserve the natural green system to ensure the
quality of environment following the greenery master
Blue belt- City Hydrological System
64. Sapone 64
65. Sapone 65
II. The Mekong Source and Local Chaktomuk Junction
Environmental, Hydrological and Morphological Phenomenon
The Mekong sources in icy wastes of eastern Tibetan Plateau and flows south and east
through – China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, emptying into the
South China Sea through a wide delta south of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). It holds
significance as a natural boundary. Unpredictable waters and shifting bed make fording
and bridging almost impossible. This great river has seen the rise and fall of empires and
battles between foes of different races and cultures. Explorers, traders and simple
fisherman and farmers have used the Mekong River for thousands of years. In recent
times, peace has returned and the ordinary life of the river goes on as it always has.
Lancang-Mekong River, Golden Water Course
The Mekong River, also called Lancang River in China, the third largest international
river following the Amazon River and the Nilotic River, is becoming a golden water
course thanks to a joint effort made by China, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia
and Vietnam where this river is flowing through.
Known as "Danube of the Orient", the 4,800-km-long river originates from China and
flows through six counties. The 2,160 km upstream section in China is
known as the Lancang River, which traverses southwest China's Yunnan
Province for more than 1,000 kilometers.
According to statistics from relevant department of Yunnan Province, nearly 200,000
tons of commodities were transported abroad from China through this river in 2000 and
against these there were only about 400 tons of shipment found in 1990. Besides,
outbound Chinese tourists by ship from this river have exceeded 50,000 from nearly
As permitted by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, free passage has been given to
commercial shipments on the 893-km-long Lancang-Mekong River from Simao Port of
China to Louangphrabeng Port of the Laos. Strung along the river are 14 ports and
docks open to commerce according to the "Lancang-Mekong River Merchantman
Navigation Agreement" signed by the four countries said.
As rich in virgin forest and different customs of local minorities along the banks of the
Lancang-Mekong River, Thailand has invested in trans-national tourism in China,
Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, followed by other countries in this region. Therefore, over
100 passenger ships are sailing on the river now.
It is reported that government officials from six countries in the valley of the LancangMekong River will meet this year to sign a frame agreement on joint development of
shipping and to make out unified river-route technical standard, working process and
By PD Online Staff Deng Gang
Tuesday, February 20, 2001
67. Sapone 67
Scale is Approximate for City Positions Only
Fig 23. Map of The Mekong River
68. Sapone 68
Fig 24. The Flow Regime at the Chaktomuk Junction
69. Sapone 69
Fig 25. Morphological Evolution of the Chaktomuk Junction
70. Sapone 70
Fig 26. Evolution of the Flow Form of the Chaktomuk Junction
71. Sapone 71
III. Preliminary Meetings and Reconnaissance Visit
Meeting with Robert Wiener – Paris, 25 June 2008
Chief Spokesperson for UN High Commissioner on Refugees
“My friend Robert Wiener suggested I contact you. You could supply me with UN people
contacts currently in Cambodia. I plan to be there … and would like to speak regarding som
advice on a humanitarian project of my own.
(Field people will know French couple with prostitutes.)
Hong Kong (Vietnam) – United Press International, Pulitzer Prize Photographer
Hubert Van Es
…suggested I contact you. I will be in HK and would like to meet you at the Foreign
Correspondents Club for a drink or a quick snack… En route to Cambodia and Robert
assured me I can count on your wise advice.
Prime Minister Cambodia
Secretary of Cabinet – Ho Sithi – Only if in trouble with permissions
Photographer – Al Rockoff – ½ time in Cambodia – been since the war
Cathay Hotel, Room 126, 123, 125 – Phnom Daun Penh
Foreign Correspondents Club
2 Lower Albert Road, North Block Central
852 2521 1511, 852 2868 4092
VP of News and Current Affairs for Star TV
Jim Laurie – lives in HK
Company to sell hotel rooms:
760-A Gilman St - Berkeley, CA 94710 - USA
Tel: (510) 558.2150 or (800) 950.2842 - Fax: (510) 558.2158
72. Sapone 72
Meeting with Thesis Advisor Sonia Chao – Miami, 15 December 2008
National – Middle Income
Local – Spiritual + Physical School
Sustainable – Passive vs. Assertive
Hotel – Phases
Assets – Managed – International Company
Hotel Rating – Plug In – Mandarin vs. Private Development
1. Seaside – Develop Hotel to Town
2. Egypt – Hotel as Town Connect to Fabric (Souk– Housing for Emp.– Mosque)
History of Politics + People
Services Spa – Everyday – Play up – Micro Environment
3. China – Minister of Culture (Female) – Develops site on top of Great Wall
a. 7 National Architects – Contemporary Language with Traditional Elements
b. “Bamboo House”
c. 7 Homes – 6 Rooms per House – Large Scale of Local Typologies
i. Inside - Out Relationship
ii. Tatamis – Japanese
iii. Low to Ground Furniture
iv. Consistency Down to Details
v. Center for Kids – 3 Year
1. To Go Hiking
2. Off Trail Paths – to get to Great Wall
3. Rugged – Provide Guide to help you - get you There
4. Outdoor Dining
vi. Exposure of Culture – Respectful and Intimate
1. 2 Shops
a. Craft Projects – Contemporary
b. Same with Clothing – Silk Designers
School – Beginning to End – Career Path - Give a kid a meal or teach them how to fish
UN Hotel – Extremely High End Exclusive – Then to Make Accessible to Large
Phase 1 – Homes – Whole Floor
Identity - Global Economy Homogenizes Culture - Allow Economic Development w/o
Suffocating Cultural I.D.
2. Eastern Medicine – both Holistic and Natural Local Communal
73. Sapone 73
Principle - Intellectual Appreciation
Arts – Visiting Professors: Specifics of Culture
1. Performing (Hanoi – Water Puppet Show)
a. Georgetown – 3 Week Retreats – Retirement Age
i. 30 People
ii. 6pm Buffet / Cocktails
iii. Day Activities
iv. Outdoor Cafes
v. Library Retreat – Teaching Temple
Visiting Professors to Hotel: Sessions @ Villa
1. How to Connect to People
a. Horseback Riding
b. Wine Appreciation
c. Cooking Class – From Village
1. Alternative Medicine
2. Day to Day Practitioners – Near Workers Housing
Open Lab for Construction
1. Skills ‘Old Timers’ Lead Efforts
2. Open Lab for Construction
3. Vocational for Building Arts
4. Local Rehabilitation – Construction Vocational Program
5. Cost of Local Building Materials
6. Furniture – Old Masters - Young Kids
i. Larger International Business
ii. Export Culture
Cultural – Honeymoon Vacation
Banquet Hall – Bulky Part of Program – Daytime Use – Empty – Use Options
1. Document Local Flora / Fauna
2. Cost of Local Building Materials
3. Construction Vocational Program
Benchmarks for Star Ratings – List – Cornell School of Hospitality
74. Sapone 74
Future Phase: Homes
Thesis: Development of 1 or 2 Components
Master Plan – Gustavo Sanches, Min Mossman, Liz Plater-Zyberk
Guide Process Recommendations, Resources, Typologies - Minn Mossman, School
of Arts and Sciences, Art and Architecture
Architectural Design – Teofilo Victoria, Jose Venegas
12/16-17/08 Phone Meeting with Min Mossman
‘The site is always waiting for the right eyes…for the right building.’ FLW
The Site is Integral to the Building:
1. Where is the Sun?
2. Where is the Pond?
3. Place the House
a. Feng Shui – feeling & where things are…ie toilets – too many
b. Ying / Yang
Cultures Blended, Traveled by Water:
1. Borobudur, Java – Mr. Kumaraswamy
2. Indonesia – more related to SE Mainland
3. Lantau Island, Hong Kong – Ferry, Monks, Grey
4. Lhasa, Tibet
5. Chinese – Malysian – Synthesis > Singapore
6. Thailand – Cambodia
7. China – Taiwan
8. Japan – China
a. How each developed away from
Native Research on Native Lands vs. Foreign
1. Foreign – can’t see, don’t’ know native point of view/reference
2. Innate Culture
Wat Buddharangsi of Miami - Temple of the Light: Samphong
1. 9 Monks Chanting – Yellow Safran
2. Lotus – Flower Arrangements – released into water – release suffering – Nirvana
3. Bodhisattvas – Saints
4. Buddhist Lesson - www.watmiami.org
Lowe Art Museum: The Year of the Dragon) Brian Dursum
1. China – Tang Dynasty
2. India – West Bengal
Bali – Mede Wijaya – Michael White, Australia
1. Tropical Garden Design
75. Sapone 75
2. Modern Tropical Garden Design
Luca Invernizzi Tettoni (Photo William Warren)
1. Bali Modern: The Art of Tropical Living
2. Bali House: New Wave Asian Architecture and Design
Singapore - Tan Hock Beng – Mats Design Studio
1. Tropical Paradise – Indonesian Art, Tropical Resorts
University of Thailand, Bangkok: Historic Preservation Faculty
Society of Architecture Historians
Architecture Historian – Chinese
Singapore – PHD Botany – Botanical Gardens Landscape Architecture for
12/17/08 Meeting with Jean Francois- LeJeune
Register with Graduate School – 3 Advisors, Submit .pdf, April 20th-Written
1. Sonia Chao
2. Min Mossman
3. And Outside: Robert Wiener
4. Gwendolyn Wright
Reviews: Plan, Detail 1 Building …
Land Cost as of March 24, 2009:
Main Road = $1000- $1500/ sq m
From 50-80m = $800-$900/ sq m
From 100-150m = $700/ sq m
From June 2008, down 20 – 30%
Land Acquisition in Cambodia:
Paid in Full over 3 Months
C-A-R-E Cambodia Angkor Real Estate
5 Options for Process to Purchase Land:
1) Foreigner 49% and Partner with Local Cambodian 51%
a. Land Title in Cambodian’s Name
2) Foreigner marries Local Cambodian
a. Land Title in Local Husband’s Name
3) Company Buys with Licensed LLC
4) Foreigner Offers Donation to Local Cambodian Government – King of
Cambodia in Exchange for Honorary Dual Citizenship, Cambodian ID
76. Sapone 76
a. Cost typically ranging from $40,000 - $70,000
5) Foreigner 1% with 100% Power of Attorney and Cambodian Partner
1) Land Holdings Co. – 51% Shares
a. Cambodian – Class A
i. Dividends and Profits
ii. Limit Right to Nominate Director
b. Security on Land with Long Term Lease
c. Register Mortgage
2) Foreign Long Term Lease 15-99 Years
a. Register in Cambodia an NGO + Individual (LLC) or Foreign Co.
i. Registration of Certification of Title
a. Own Land Holding Company
i. Option LLC – Separate Management Companies
1. The Pearl Management Co.
2. The School Management Co.
Ministry of Land Management
Level of Government = Commune
Khmer No Private Ownership of Land
Thumb Print = Hard Title = Vont Difinitif
Convert Soft Title = Sonkat Certificate 1-2 Pages to Hard Title
Perform Title Search Prior
Protected Lands in Sihanoukeville with Environmental Restrictions on Coastal Regions and
Sonkat = Validation of Contracts
(EEC Company – Diesel)
1) 2 – 4% for Transfer of Title, Facilitation Payment
2) Land Transfer Taxes to the Seller
Market Study = With NGO to Perform 2 Page Interview – 500 People
1) Enfants du Mekong
2) PSE Pour un Sourire d’Enfants
3) Soksabai - Youth Girls and Boys (5 -18 years) beaten by parents
a. Denis Xavier – Retired Fr. Govt. 092963319 – Rue de Vick 281 # 18
77. Sapone 77
Electricity & Water: Corrupted and Unreliable – 1 month with no Electricity
Generator = 32A $500 / 3 Phases
Generate Solar / Hydro
Water Re-Use Retention System
Need: Connected Land + Hookups / Pay Fuel
1) Rotary Club: www.bigpond.com.kh/users/rcpp
2) PP Chamber of Commerce
a. 70 Confederation de la Russie
3) Hotel Cambodiana – French
4) Center for Cambodian Development
a. Street 315 # 56
IV. A Guide to Angkor Monuments by Maurice Glaize
Maurice Glaize might need not introduction, however I give one anyway.
Preface to the 4th French edition
Published in 1944 in Saigon, republished in 1948 and again in Paris in 1963, "The
Monuments of the Angkor Group" by Maurice Glaize remains the most comprehensive of
the guidebooks and the most easily accessible to a wide public, dedicated to one of the most
fabled architectural ensembles in the world.
In his preface to the first edition, Georges Cœdes (1886-1969), the unchallenged master of
Khmer studies and the then director of the École Française d'Extrême-Orient, wrote:
"Maurice Glaize's guide, more than a quarter of which is devoted to fundamental ideas
concerning the history of the country, its religions, the meaning and evolution of the
monuments, their architecture and their decoration, the sculpture, and finally to the work of
the Conservation d'Angkor, gives an initiation to Angkor that until now has been lacking.
The guide recommends itself on these qualities alone. By means of taking apart and
rebuilding the monuments during the process of anastylosis Mr. Glaize has learnt to know
their secrets and, like a professor of anatomy, reveals to his readers all the details of their
structure. But further, in daily contact with the ruins since 1936, he has learnt to love them,
and one can easily perceive the emotion of the artist as he faces the corner of a gallery lit by
the morning sun, or views the light playing on the waters of an ancient pool at sunset...
78. Sapone 78
In brief, this volume is a book that is of service not only as a guide for touring the
monuments, but also as a presentation of the results of the most recent research to a wider
public. With these diverse titles, it deserves the success which I hope for it with all my heart...
Founded on an exceptional understanding of the monuments and an ability to popularise to
a high level, this rightful success was soon gained - the work of Mr. Glaize being no less
valuable for students of research than for tourists, or for the most demanding connoisseurs
of art. With the exception of Georges Trouvé, whose involvement was sadly too brief,
nobody had a better understanding or 'feeling' for the monuments of the Angkor region
than Henri Marchal or Maurice Glaize. But if H. Marchal was the first to make use of
anastylosis towards the end of 1931 for the exemplary reconstruction of Banteay Srei, it was
M. Glaize who generalised its use for the "Angkor Group" - notably in the "rebirth" of
Banteay Samre, for the sanctuary of Neak Pean, and the "resurrection" of the sanctuary of
It would, however, be unsatisfactory to simply republish a work written now some fifty years
ago without some form of amendment. All manner of events have in the mean time
intervened that impose necessary revision - although, in terms of the Author's thoughts,
those responsible have made the request that any alteration should be as discrete as possible.
These factors derive as much from the unhappy events resulting from ongoing political
changes as from events directly affecting the monuments themselves. On the one hand,
there has been the abrupt and rapid decline, since 1945, in the state of some of the better
known temples, such as the Baphuon and Angkor Wat - symbolic of the highest
achievement of Khmer classicism. On the other, towards 1955, the availability of modern
techniques and materials enabled the improved efficiency of the Angkor Conservation
Office, which then expanded from a simple workshop to a research office with engineers
and technicians. Under the direction of Bernard Phillippe Groslier more ambitious programs
were devised, and large, urgent site-works, previously unthinkable, were able to be
undertaken. The brutal deterioration of the political situation in 1975 and the resulting
insecurity came to ruin these hopes and put an end to the activity that had previously run
uninterrupted since the founding of the Conservation Office in 1908. The resumption of
work, even with limited objectives, was to take a long time in coming.
These facts cannot be omitted from a Guide whose primary aim is the reader's instruction.
Likewise, progress in research has considerably reduced the importance for a long time
placed on the notion of the "god-king" and the "royal linga", with more qualified
interpretations being proposed by Jean Filliozat and Georges Cœdes himself during the
'sixties. There has been a similar evolution in terms of the symbolism of the monuments (in
particular with respect to Phnom Bakheng and the temples from the period of the Bayon)
for which a recourse to texts has allowed the release from mere hypothetical speculation. All
of these amendments have been handled unobtrusively, usually with simple notes. It is with
the same concern for "revision" that the original, but old, photographs have been substituted
with a choice of more recent and more evocative illustrations.
79. Sapone 79
A Guide to Angkor Monuments by Maurice Glaize
"The sacred sword"
2nd half of 12th century (1151)
(posthumous name: Maha paramasangata pada)
Started by H. Marchal from 1927 to 1932
Continued with partial anastylosis by M. Glaize in 1939.
Various consolidation and restoration work carried out since 1946
Note: - The traverse of the monument can be made in totality either from east to west or inversely. Send your
vehicle to meet you at the gate opposite to your entry, or if you only have a little time, straight to the north gate.
The three are to be found on the Grand Circuit, the way leading to the east gate (route Fombertaux) is just a
little after the 9 kilometre marker stone, to the north gate after the 8 kilometre stone, and to the west gate at
The large ensemble of Prah Khan, forming a rectangle of 700 metres by 800 surrounded by
moats, covers an area of 56 hectares. It is, like Ta Prohm with which it has many analogies,
an example typical of the formula adopted by Jayavarman VII; - all the elements of a vast
composition compressed into a relatively small space (the third enclosure contains all of its
buildings in only 175 by 200 metres), - the transformation of an elegant initial plan into a
veritable architectural chaos by the multiplication of additional buildings placed at random all then enclosed within a vast habitation zone that was probably covered with huts and
For Prah Khan, things can easily be explained. On the one hand, the reveals of the sanctuary
door openings, give proof in short inscriptions of the multiplicity of the pious foundations naming the idols which represent as many deified dignitaries and giving the monument the
character of a kind of temple of remembrance, rather like a necropolis. On the other, the
stele discovered in 1939 reveals that it was here the king won victory (personified in the
name of Jayasri) and founded a city of the same name: "Nagara-Jayasri".
It is also quite likely that Prah Khan was a city, since, according to Mr Cœdes, the ancient
name of Jayasri and the modern name of Prah Khan are but one and the same - "the sacred
sword - the palladium of the Khmer kingdom - still being called Jayasri in Thailand: "Nagara Jayasri", which meant in fact "the city of victorious royal Fortune", which became in
popular usage the city of the sacred sword - or in Cambodian, Prah Khan".
In contrast to Ta Prohm or Banteay Kdei - other foundations of Jayavarman VII - the four
access paths crossing the moats are here bordered by the same lines of giants holding the
naga which also precede the gates of Angkor Thom, whose architectural symbolism we have
studied in previous chapters. At Prah Khan, as in the distant city of Banteay Chmar where
they can again be found, this element was the mark of a royal city, further confirmed by the
80. Sapone 80
planning of the entrances that are set on level ground, in contrast to the usual arrangement,
in order to allow the passage of carts and elephants. Prah Khan, where one finds no faced
towers like those at the Bayon, or outer enclosures as at Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Ta Som or
Angkor Thom - and which must therefore have preceded them - quite probably served as
the provisional residence of Jayavarman VII during the reconstruction of his capital,
devastated by the Chams in 1177.
As a temple, the stele tells us that in 1191 a statue was consecrated in Prah Khan to
bodhisattva Lokesvara, named Jayavarmesvara, who was none other than an image of the
father of Jayavarman VII, Dharanindravarman - in the same way that Ta Prohm was
dedicated to his mother represented in Prajnaparamita.
It also refers to the existence of 515 other statues, to one of the 102 royal hospitals of the
kingdom (which has not been found), and to a house of fire or stage-post. The attendants
and servants numbered 97,840 men and women, a thousand of whom where dancers.
Eighteen major annual festivals and ten days public holiday a month give evidence of the
taste that the Khmer have always had for leisure and their religious ceremonies.
Prah Khan, like most other temples of Jayavarman's reign, is not uniform in style. It shows
evidence of numerous alterations and additions - and although a Buddhist monastery, there
is nonetheless an abundance of Brahmanic iconography.
It has two concentric galleries and, similarly, two enclosures formed by simple walls - the
closest to the centre containing important groups of galleries and sanctuaries on the axes
which, as a crossing cloister to the east, become veritable temples in reduction in the other
The visit is easy since recent clearing works have opened the axial circulation by clearing the
fallen rubble. From the east to the west, as from north to south, is a long line of door
openings, vestibules, rooms and galleries - and we recommend that one follows the central
route while making as many deep forays on either side as possible.
The temple was previously overrun with a particularly voracious vegetation and quite ruined,
presenting only chaos. Clearing works were undertaken with a constant respect for the large
trees which give the composition a pleasing presentation without constituting any immediate
danger. At the same time, some partial anastylosis has revived various buildings found in a
sufficient state of preservation and presenting some special interest in their architecture or
The route Fombertaux, leading to the eastern entrance, ends at the ancient terrace which
served as a landing for boats on the western bank of the "Jayatataka" - the large reservoir of
3,500 metres by 900 - which is axial on Prah Khan and has the tiny island of Neak Pean at its
81. Sapone 81
centre. Of the original arrangement there remains but some foundations and steps in laterite,
preceded towards the lake by two beautiful "gajasimha" lions.(29)
From here, the perspective of the ensemble must have been magnificent, responding to the
natural partiality of the Khmer for grand schemes. The avenue with decorative bornes
followed by the pavement bordered with giants carrying the naga across the moats, leading
to the external enclosure, is one of the finest realisations in Angkor, and irresistibly brings to
mind the noble presentations of Versailles or of the Grand Trianon. It is only regrettable
that the two lines of bornes are set closer together than are the two chains of giants, so
masking rather than complementing them - a fault in the composition that could easily have
One hundred metres long and ten metres wide, the avenue is repeated to the west with a
little less dimension, while to the north and south there are only the chains of devas and
asuras. Each borne has its shank sculpted with monsters, standing "as atlantes", and the
square top decorated with four niches containing a seated Buddha. The image of the Sage systematically butchered during the Brahmanic reaction of the 13th century - unfortunately
only remains on two of them - at the return to the western end on either side of the axis.
The external gopura of the fourth enclosure has three towers, the central of which has four
upper tiers and forms a clear passage at ground level, so dominating the two others which
have only two tiers and secondary doors. Here one can clearly see all the characteristics of
the Bayon style - the general decoration of the walls that are embroidered on a base of
foliated scrolls, small devatas and false windows with partially lowered blinds. Large garudas
brandishing the naga, over five metres in height, stand with their backs to the laterite wall on
each side of the building - a motif that is repeated every fifty metres along the surrounding
three kilometre external enclosure. At the corners they are more developed, and stand in
their full glory - we would particularly draw attention to the one in the north-east corner,
which has been fully restored and is accessible from the north gate by skirting the outside of
One of the finest works of Khmer statuary, a kneeling Prajnaparamita with a divine purity of
expression, was found in this gopura during the clearing works. The original is now in Paris
at the Musée Guimet, although there is a copy at the National Museum in Phnom Penh.
To the north of the forest track leading to the third enclosure and still pactically intact stands
the "house of fire" for the pilgrims, mentioned in the inscription. It is similar to the one at
Ta Prohm, with particularly thick walls and windows with a double line of balusters. Its
multiple corbelled vault, which undulates like the framing line of a fronton, allows the
principal room an exceptional width of 4m.70 overall.
A vast terrace on two levels with lions and naga-balustrades in the style of the Bayon allows
access to the five-doored gopura, which aligns its three towers and its two extreme pavilions
on a front of nearly a hundred metres, the whole being linked by galleries with pillars to the
outside and a rear wall ornate with false windows with balusters towards the courtyard. To
the south of the axis, a pair of large trees, resting on the vault itself of the gallery, frame its
82. Sapone 82
openings and brace the stones in substitute for pillars in a caprice of nature that is as
fantastic as it is perilous.
From here to the interior of the third enclosure, contained within a laterite wall, there is the
usual cruciform court forming four small courtyards surrounded by galleries with side-aisles
on pillars. Certain elements of the half vaults, carefully coursed and dressed, are still in place,
with their ornamentation of lotus blossomed coffers. Above the openings, the presence of
several remarkably fine apsara friezes confirm the probable use of this area as a hall for ritual
Leaving by the north one can see, to the side of a pavement bordered with nagas, the curious
arrangement of massive closely set pillars which also exists at Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdei with the exception that here they stand as large cylindrical columns - the only example in
Angkor in this dimension. They serve to support a first floor in masonry, whose window
frames have been reconstructed on the ground, though no trace of any access stair has been
found. Opposite is a long raised terrace with laterite retaining walls.
Returning to the principal east-west axis of the monument, one then passes through the
ritual dance hall, which one leaves by a courtyard enclosing two "libraries" within its walls,
opening to the west, and a pseudo-gopura that forms a tower.
The cruciform gallery that follows seems to be slightly later. Its ornamentation is excellent,
with the dvarapalas and devatas in high relief framing the openings, its frieze of sculpted though defaced - Buddhas separated by gracious winged figurines and its corner garudas. Up
at the back, barely visible in the half-light, the eastern fronton on the gopura of the first
enclosure is quite particular in nature with its palace door motif framing two figures - male
and female - mounted on a base and elegantly dressed.
To the left, the first small courtyard has been cleared. It must have been delightful, with its
surrounding cloistered gallery ornate with gracious devatas - until one of the towers, still in
rough form, came as an unfortunate addition to obstruct its near totality.
The stele, discovered miraculously intact under a pile of rubble, has been replaced in its
original location in the western vestibule of the first gopura.(30) Practically identical to that
at Ta Prohm and of the same size, 2m.00 by 0m.60, it is inscribed on each of its four sides
with 72 lines of angular writing that is characteristic of the late 12th century.
Two minuscule "libraries" with a particularly dense ornamentation frame the western door,
whose imposing fronton - consecrated to the glory of the triumphant king - has been
repositioned. Surrounded by large trees which so far it has been possible to spare, a vast
cruciform hall with pillars separates the north-east and south-east quarters from the internal
courtyard which, not yet cleared, is choked with more or less ruined buildings. Its walls are
peppered with small holes and it must once have been covered, like the interior of the
central sanctuary that follows, with wooden or metal panels. The sanctuary is clearly offset to
the west and so divides the court into two unequal parts.
83. Sapone 83
The main tower is cruciform in plan and has four avant-corps, and externally would seem to
have been sculpted and then pitted to receive a covering of mortar. Within its eastern
vestibule was erected - in 1943, after having been found in the neighbouring undergrowth - a
large statue of a standing Lokesvara with eight arms that would seem to correspond to the
"Lokesa called Shri Jayavarmesvara".(31) According to the foundation stele this should have
been found in the main tower, and is in the image of the father of Jayavarman VII. Clearly in
the style of the Bayon, the countenance is inspired with the same serene spirituality as the
statue of the kneeling deified princess represented in the aspect of the Prajnaparamita
(discovered in 1929 in this temple and mentioned above) - the two seeming to be by the
same artist. The whole effect is concentrated in the expression of the face that glows with an
imperceptible smile and an intense vitality. The simply modelled body stands firmly on
oversized legs and has the peculiarity of being "irradiating" - it is covered with tiny figures of
the Buddha from the toes, ankles and wrists to the chest, shoulders and the small curls of the
hair. The only two hands which remained holding the disc and the rosary were broken off
and stolen in 1945, during the Japanese occupation.
The central sanctuary is now occupied by the crowning motif of a stupa, the elements of
which were found in the rubble of the sanctuary chamber. Unusual in form with its slender,
banded shaft (tiered parasols?), it is no doubt of a later date. From here, the four lines of
rooms and galleries which stretch to the four cardinal points can be viewed with their
delightful play of shadow and light.
Taking one of the monumental galleries with double side-aisles which leave it on three of its
axes, the visitor with a little time can explore either to the south, where from the avenue of
giants (which no longer stand), the perspective stretches through a clearing in the forest to
the moats of Angkor Thom - or, better, to the north, where the chains of devas and asuras
have been re-established on either side of the pathway leading to the 8th kilometre of the
The third gopura north is surrounded by some delightful trees, the "sralaos" with their white
channelled trunks, which frame it beautifully. Its principal entrance is preceded by two
enormous dvarapalas and a cruciform terrace, and has an interesting fronton; - it shows a
lively scrum which is probably an episode from the battle of Lanka (Ramayana). Passing
through the small cloister that forms a complete temple between the second and third
gopuras, one can find a Ganesha in the central tower(32) and, on its eastern axial gallery, two
superb frontons of Brahmanic inspiration - the "Reclining Vishnou" and "Shiva between
Vishnou and Brahma".
Leaving the central sanctuary towards the west, one should visit the north-west and southwest quarters of the internal courtyard of the first enclosure - which have been entirely
restored - with their numerous buildings sited without order and sometimes juxtaposed,
which Mr Cœdes sees quite justifiably as "funerary chapels - or family tombs" . Some of
them are vaulted, unusually, with a cloistered arch. The centre of the courtyard is marked by
one of the isolated standing pillars with a top tenon, similar to those in other temples of the
same period and which perhaps carried a miniature wooden temple containing some
offerings. Each corner of the first enclosure gallery is marked by a high tower with reducing
upper tiers - the one to the south-west has been reconstructed. It is interesting that, on the
84. Sapone 84
walls of the two symmetrical pavilions closest to the central sanctuary, the ascetics in arches
on the north-western quarter remain unscathed, while on the south-western, the images of
the Buddha have all been defaced.
Passing the first and second gopuras and continuing through the small temple in reduction
with cloistered galleries like those encountered to the north and south, one can see a fronton
representing "Krishna raising mount Govardhana" to shelter the shepherds and their flocks.
It should be noted that all the tympanums with scenes in this part of the temple are
dedicated to Vishnou and his various manifestations, in accordance with the convention for
images of this god, so closely associated with the west.
The large gopura of the third enclosure - presenting a front of nearly 40 metres and entirely
restored - has its central core formed in a crossing of aisles with groined vaults supported on
pillars, with half vaulted side-aisles. It is quite close in style to Angkor Wat, though the
external decoration, crowded with numerous figurines on a base of foliated scrolls that
covers the entire surface of its panels, is very much in the style of the Bayon.
Among the fine frontons one can see; - to the east, on a royal embarkation, the "chess
players" which one can also find in the south-west gallery of the bas-reliefs at Angkor Wat and to the west, an episode from the battle of Lanka (Ramayana). The western door is found
with its two dvarapalas and its access terrace guarded by lions, once again practically intact.
A long cutting through the forest creates a dramatic vista that accentuates the monumental
character of the composition and finally allows one to exit the temple through the three
towered gopura of its fourth enclosure - whose restoration intervened just in time to save
the ruin of its crumbling structures whose vaults only remained in place by a miracle of
balance. The pavement bordered with giants that crosses the moat was restored to its
original condition, with complete success on the side of the asuras, as was the avenue of
decorative bornes with defaced Buddhas that joins the road of the Grand circuit at its
These and virtually all the other free standing statues described are no longer in place.
The two lions are no longer in position.
The Lokesvara is now in the National Museum, Phnom Penh.
Ganesha is no longer in place.
85. Sapone 85
Preah Khan (PRAY – KAHN), Angkor, Buddhist Jayavarman VII, Dedicated 1191 A.D. to
Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.
The City of Preah Khan
According to Maurice Glaize, The Monuments of the Angkor Group, Preah Khan was once a
functioning city characterized by the compression of numerous core buildings into a
relatively small area, the random subsequent addition of other buildings, resulting in "a
veritable architectural chaos," and the enclosure of the core within a "vast habitation zone"
of huts and timber houses. The city included a hospital and a "house of fire" or restinghouse for travellers. At one time, close to 100,000 people may have lived and worked here.
88. Sapone 88
Preah Khan, Angkor
Just across the causeway lined by the naga balustrades, entry into the city is accomplished by means
of a gate in the outer stone wall. The city has one gate for each of the cardinal directions. The
main gate depicted here faces to the East. The gate tower is flanked by two smaller towers.
89. Sapone 89
This entrance to the central temple complex stands under the protection of two stone dvarapalas, or
armed guards. The temple is constructed in a linear fashion that allows the visitor to look down long
alleys of doorways, passages, and chambers. http://angkorblog.com/_wsn/page3.html
Glossary from Maurice Glaize
Asrama - Monastery
Airavana - Elephant, the mount of Indra
Amitabha - Buddha of the higher spirit, represented on the head-dress of bodhisattvas
Amrita - Elixir of life, from the churning of the ocean
Ananta - Serpent on which Vishnou reclines on the ocean
Angkor - City
Apsaras - Celestial dancers
Asura - Demon with power equal to that of the gods
Avatar - Incarnation (or manifestation) of Vishnou
Avalokitesvara - Or Lokesvara, the compassionate bodhisattva, responding to the idea of
Providence, with four arms and carrying the amitabha on his head-dress: attributes; lotus,
rosary, bottle and a book
Balang - Pedestal
90. Sapone 90
Banteay - Citadel
Baray - An area of water enclosed within mounds of earth
Beng - A pool
Bodhisattva - One in the process of becoming a Buddha
Buddha - The Sage who has achieved ultimate wisdom
Brahma - One of the gods of the Brahmanic trinity - the creator, generally with 4 faces,
mounted on the Hamsa (swan or sacred bird)
Cedei - Or stupa, a funerary or commemorative monument usually containing the remains of
Cham - The inhabitants of Champa, kingdom of the Hindu civilisation on the coast of what
is now Vietnam, earlier than the Annamites
Damrei - Elephant
Deva- A god
Devaraja - Or god king, the essence of Royalty, supposed to reside in the royal linga
Devata - Feminine divinity
Dharmasala - House of fire or shelter for pilgrims
Dhyana-mudra - Meditative posture of the Buddha (with hands crossed in the lap)
Durga - One of the wives of Shiva
Dvarapala - A guardian of the temple (deva or asura)
Ficus - Religiosa Sacred tree (Buddhist religion)
Fou-Nan - The Chinese name of an ancient Indo-Chinese empire preceding the kingdom of
Gajasimha - Lion with a snout
Ganesha - Son of Shiva, god with the head of an Elephant
Ganga - One of the wives of Shiva (goddess of the Ganges)
Garuda - Divine bird with a human body, enemy of the nagas and the mount of Vishnou
Gopura - Entry pavilion to the various temple enclosures
Guru - Master
Hamsa - Sacred bird, the mount of Brahma
Hanuman - The white monkey. Chief of the army of monkeys
Harihara - A god unifying in the same figure Hari (Vishnou) and Hara (Shiva)
Hayagriva - Secondary god of the family of Shiva, represented with the head of a horse
Hinayana - Or small vehicle - a Buddhist sect
Ishvara - One of the names of Shiva
Indra - Brahmanic god, master of thunder and lightning; his mount is Airavana the elephant
(usually three headed) and his attribute, the thunderbolt
Kailasa - One of the mountain peaks of the Himalaya where Shiva resides
Kala - The head of a monster, supposed to represent one aspect of Shiva
Kali - One of the names of the sakti of Shiva
Kama - The god of love
Ko - Ox
Kompong - A port or village by the water
Krishna - Manifestation of Vishnou
Kubera - The god of wealth, dwarfed and deformed, mounted on a Yaksha or a rat
Lakshmana - Brother of Rama (from the Ramayana)
Lakshmi - The wife or sakti of Vishnou
Lanka - The island of Ceylon, home of the rakshasas
Linga - Phallic idol, one of the forms of Shiva
91. Sapone 91
Lokapala - Guardian of one of the four cardinal points
Lokesvara - Other name for Avalokitesvara, the compassionate bodhisattva
Mahabharata - Grand Hindu epic
Mahayana - Or Large Vehicle, a Buddhist sect
Maitreya - Future Buddha (a sort of Messiah)
Makara - Sea monster with the head of an elephant, who, in ornamentation, often disgorges
Mara - Evil spirit who tempts the Buddha
Men - A light pavilion used for incineration
Meru - Mountain, centre of the world and residence of the gods
Mucilinda - Naga sheltering Buddha in meditation
Madras - Symbolic gesture of gods or Buddha
Mukhalinga - A linga adorned with a face
Mukuta - Or mokot, the conical head-dress worn behind the diadem
Naga - Stylisation of the Cobra - a mythical serpent, usually multi-headedGenie of the waters
who shelters the Buddha in meditation with his fanned heads.
Nagaraja - King of the Nagas
Nagi - Female naga
Nandin - Sacred bull, the mount of Shiva
Narasimha - The God Vishnou, with the lower part in human form and the head of a lion
Neak-ta - Popular idol, or the shelter that contains it
Nirvana - The ultimate enlightenment and the supreme Buddhist objective
Pala - Dynasty ruling in Bihar and Bengal between about AD 750 and 1196
Parinirvana - The entry of the Buddha to enlightenment, the pose of the statues of the
Parvati - Wife or sakti of Shiva
Peshani - Millstone intended for grinding
Phnom - Mountain
Phtel - Bowl
Pradakshina - A circumambulation ritual always keeping the monument to the right
Prah - Saint, sacred
Prah patima - A metal leaf stamped with the image of the Buddha
Prajnaparamita - The mystical mother of the Buddhas, symbol of wisdom
Prasat - Sanctuary in the form of a tower
Prasavya - Circumambulation funerary ritual, in the opposite manner to the pradakshina
Prei - Forest
Pourana - Historical Indian legend
Puri - Town
Rahu - Head of the monster demon of eclipses
Rakshasa - Inferior demon joining with the asuras against the devas
Rakshasi - Feminine form of rakshasa
Rama - A manifestation of Vishnou (Ramayana)
Ramayana - Grand Hindu epic, the history of Rama and of Sita
Rati - The wife of Kama, god of love
Ravana - King of the rakshasas, with multiple heads and arms
Rishi - Brahman ascetic
Sakra - The wheel of the Buddha, signifying immortality and power
92. Sapone 92
Saka - The Indian era the most commonly used in the inscriptions, preceding the Christian
era by 78 years
Sakti - he wife or feminine energy of the Hindu gods
Sarasvati - Wife of Brahma, goddess of eloquence
Sarong - A length of cloth wrapped around the lower body
Sema - Steles (inscribed stones) placed on the axes and corners of Buddhist terraces to
define the sacred platform
Seng - Lion
Sita - Wife of Rama (Ramayana)
Shiva - One of the gods of the Brahmanic trinity - the creator and destroyer, mounted on
Nandin (the sacred bull), generally with a third frontal eye and a crescent on the chignon,
worshipped in the form of the linga
Shri - Sakti of the god Vishnou (or Lakshmi)
Skanda - God of war, son of Shiva, mounted on a peacock or on a rhinoceros.
Snanadroni - An ablution slab with a beak, always orientated to the north, placed on the
pedestal of the idols for the flow of lustral water
Somasutra - Channel for the evacuation of lustral water out of the sanctuary
Srah - Pool
Srei - Woman
Stupa - Or cedei, a funerary or commemorative monument usually containing the remains of
Sugriva - King of the monkeys, dethroned by his brother Valin and ally of Rama (Ramayana)
Surya - God of the sun, haloed with a ring of light and mounted on a horse-drawn chariot
Tandava - Dance of Shiva separating the cosmic periods of the creation and destruction of
Tantrism - Buddhist sect from the Mahayana
Tara - Feminine energy of Lokesvara, similar to the Prajnaparamita
Tchen-La - Of water and earth, ancient Chinese name for Cambodia
Tevoda - Or devata, a feminine divinity
Thom - Large
Trapeang - Sea
Tricula - Trident, the weapon of Shiva
Trimurti - Brahmanic trinity (Shiva between Vishnou and Brahma)
Tripitaka - Sacred Buddhist texts
Uma - Wife or sakti of Shiva
Ushnisha - Protuberance from the skull crowning the head of Buddha
Vajra - Thunderbolt, the attribute of Indra
Valin - King of the monkeys, brother of Sugriva and overcome by him with the help of
Varaha - Manifestation of Vishnou (wild boar)
Vasuki - The serpent in the churning of the Ocean
Vat - Pagoda
Veda - Brahman rules
Vihara - Monastery
Vishvakarman - The divine architect, son of Shiva
Vishnou - One of the gods of the Brahmanic trinity - the protector. His mount is Garuda
and he generally has four arms that hold a disk, a conch, a ball and a club Numerous
93. Sapone 93
Yama - God of death and the supreme judge, mounted on a buffalo
Yakshas - Or Yeaks, genie of good or evil
3.5 GLOSSARY from WMF
anastylosis: a method of restoring a monument distinguished by rebuilding the structure using
the original methods and materials
Angkor: ('city or capital') an ancient capital in Cambodia that was the main center of the
Khmer Empire from AD 802 to 1432
apsara: a female divinity; heavenly dancer; celestial nymph who entertains the gods and is the
sensual reward of kings and heroes who die bravely
Banteay: ('fortress') the name given to a temple with an enclosing wall
baray: ('lake') a large man-made body of water surrounded by banks of earth; reservoir
causeway: a raised road across a body of water
corbel: a method of spanning an opening used by the Khmers for arches; it consists of a
overlapping arrangement of stones, each course projecting beyond the one below
dvarapala: a guardian often standing and holding a club or mace; sculpted in the round and
frequently at the entrance to a temple
fronton: the triangular vertical face used decoratively above a lintel or over a portico or other
Garuda: a mythical creature depicted in Khmer art with the arms and torso of a human and
the beak, wings, legs, and claws of an eagle; an enemy of the naga; Vishnu's mount
gopura: an elaborate gateway to a temple in the south of India; it serves as an entrance
pavilion in walls enclosing a temple
Khmer: the ancient indigenous people of Cambodia
laterite: a residual product of rock decay abundant in the soil of Cambodia and
Northeastern Thailand; characterized by a porous texture and a red color; harden on
exposure to air; used as a building material, particularly for foundations of Khmer temples
lintel: a crossbeam resting on two upright posts; on a Khmer temple the lintel is above the
door or window opening, directly below the pediment
Phnom: the Khmer work for 'hill' or 'mount'
Preah Khan Campaign V, report VIII - 57
94. Sapone 94
The Venice Charter
INTERNATIONAL CHARTER FOR THE CONSERVATION
AND RESTORATION OF MONUMENTS AND SITES
Imbued with a message from the past, the historic monuments of generations of people
remain to the present day as living witnesses of their age-old traditions. People are becoming
more and more conscious of the unity of human values and regard ancient monuments as a
common heritage. The common responsibility to safeguard them for future generations is
recognized. It is our duty to hand them on in the full richness of their authenticity.
It is essential that the principles guiding the preservation and restoration of ancient buildings
should be agreed and be laid down on an international basis, with each country being
responsible for applying the plan within the framework of its own culture and traditions.
By defining these basic principles for the first time, the Athens Charter of 1931 contributed
towards the development of an extensive international movement which has assumed
concrete form in national documents, in the work of ICOM and UNESCO and in the
establishment by the latter of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and
the Restoration of Cultural Property. Increasing awareness and critical study have been
brought to bear on problems which have continually become more complex and varied; now
the time has come to examine the Charter afresh in order to make a thorough study of the
principles involved and to enlarge its scope in a new document.
Accordingly, the IInd International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic
Monuments, which met in Venice from May 25th to 31st 1964, approved the following text:
ARTICLE 1. The concept of an historic monument embraces not only the single
architectural work but also the urban or rural setting in which is found the evidence of a
particular civilization, a significant development or an historic event. This applies not only to
great works of art but also to more modest works of the past which have acquired cultural
significance with the passing of time.
95. Sapone 95
ARTICLE 2. The conservation and restoration of monuments must have recourse to all the
sciences and techniques which can contribute to the study and safeguarding of the
ARTICLE 3. The intention in conserving and restoring monuments is to safeguard them no
less as works of art than as historical evidence.
ARTICLE 4. It is essential to the conservation of monuments that they be maintained on a
ARTICLE 5. The conservation of monuments is always facilitated by making use of them
for some socially useful purpose. Such use is therefore desirable but it must not change the
lay-out or decoration of the building. It is within these limits only that modifications
demanded by a change of function should be envisaged and may be permitted.
ARTICLE 6. The conservation of a monument implies preserving a setting which is not out
of scale. Wherever the traditional setting exists, it must be kept. No new construction,
demolition or modification which would alter the relations of mass and color must be
ARTICLE 7. A monument is inseparable from the history to which it bears witness and
from the setting in which it occurs. The moving of all or part of a monument cannot be
allowed except where the safeguarding of that monument demands it or where it is justified
by national or international interest of paramount importance.
ARTICLE 8. Items of sculpture, painting or decoration which form an integral part of a
monument may only be removed from it if this is the sole means of ensuring their
ARTICLE 9. The process of restoration is a highly specialized operation. Its aim is to
preserve and reveal the aesthetic and historic value of the monument and is based on respect
for original material and authentic documents. It must stop at the point where conjecture
begins, and in this case moreover any extra work which is indispensable must be distinct
from the architectural composition and must bear a contemporary stamp. The restoration in
any case must be preceded and followed by an archaeological and historical study of the
ARTICLE 10. Where traditional techniques prove inadequate, the consolidation of a
monument can be achieved by the use of any modem technique for conservation and
construction, the efficacy of which has been shown by scientific data and proved by
96. Sapone 96
ARTICLE 11. The valid contributions of all periods to the building of a monument must be
respected, since unity of style is not the aim of a restoration. When a building includes the
superimposed work of different periods, the revealing of the underlying state can only be
justified in exceptional circumstances and when what is removed is of little interest and the
material which is brought to light is of great historical, archaeological or aesthetic value, and
its state of preservation good enough to justify the action. Evaluation of the importance of
the elements involved and the decision as to what may be destroyed cannot rest solely on the
individual in charge of the work.
ARTICLE 12. Replacements of missing parts must integrate harmoniously with the whole,
but at the same time must be distinguishable from the original so that restoration does not
falsify the artistic or historic evidence.
ARTICLE 13. Additions cannot be allowed except in so far as they do not detract from the
interesting parts of the building, its traditional setting, the balance of its composition and its
relation with its surroundings.
ARTICLE 14. The sites of monuments must be the object of special care in order to
safeguard their integrity and ensure that they are cleared and presented in a seemly manner.
The work of conservation and restoration carried out in such places should be inspired by
the principles set forth in the foregoing articles.
ARTICLE 15. Excavations should be carried out in accordance with scientific standards and
the recommendation defining international principles to be applied in the case of
archaeological excavation adopted by UNESCO in 1956.
Ruins must be maintained and measures necessary for the permanent conservation and
protection of architectural features and of objects discovered must be taken. Furthermore,
every means must be taken to facilitate the understanding of the monument and to reveal it
without ever distorting its meaning.
All reconstruction work should however be ruled out "a priori." Only anastylosis, that is to
say, the reassembling of existing but dismembered parts can be permitted. The material used
for integration should always be recognizable and its use should be the least that will ensure
the conservation of a monument and the reinstatement of its form.
ARTICLE 16. In all works of preservation, restoration or excavation, there should always be
precise documentation in the form of analytical and critical reports, illustrated with drawings
and photographs. Every stage of the work of clearing, consolidation, rearrangement and
integration, as well as technical and formal features identified during the course of the work,
should be included. This record should be placed in the archives of a public institution and
made available to research workers. It is recommended that the report should be published.
97. Sapone 97
The following persons took part in the work of the Committee for drafting the International
Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments:
Piero Gazzola (Italy), Chairman
Raymond Lemaire (Belgium), Reporter
Jose Bassegoda-Nonell (Spain)
Luis Benavente (Portugal)
Djurdje Boskovic (Yugoslavia)
Hiroshi Daifuku (UNESCO)
P.L de Vrieze (Netherlands)
Harald Langberg (Demmark)
Mario Matteucci (Italy)
Jean Merlet (France)
Carlos Flores Marini (Mexico)
Roberto Pane (Italy)
S.C.J. Pavel (Czechoslovakia)
Paul Philippot (ICCROM)
Victor Pimentel (Peru)
Harold Plenderleith (ICCROM)
Deoclecio Redig de Campos (Vatican)
Jean Sonnier (France)
Francois Sorlin (France)
Eustathios Stikas (Greece)
Mrs. Gertrud Tripp (Austria)
Jan Zachwatovicz (Poland)
Mustafa S. Zbiss (Tunisia)
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The Nara Document on Authenticity
The Nara Document on Authenticity
Cultural Diversity and Heritage Diversity
Values and authenticity
1. We, the experts assembled in Nara (Japan), wish to acknowledge the generous
spirit and intellectual courage of the Japanese authorities in providing a timely forum
in which we could challenge conventional thinking in the conservation field, and
debate ways and means of broadening our horizons to bring greater respect for
cultural and heritage diversity to conservation practice.
2. We also wish to acknowledge the value of the framework for discussion provided by
the World Heritage Committee's desire to apply the test of authenticity in ways
which accord full respect to the social and cultural values of all societies, in
examining the outstanding universal value of cultural properties proposed for the
World Heritage List.
3. The Nara Document on Authenticity is conceived in the spirit of the Charter of
Venice, 1964, and builds on it and extends it in response to the expanding scope of
cultural heritage concerns and interests in our contemporary world.
4. In a world that is increasingly subject to the forces of globalization and
homogenization, and in a world in which the search for cultural identity is sometimes
pursued through aggressive nationalism and the suppression of the cultures of
minorities, the essential contribution made by the consideration of authenticity in
conservation practice is to clarify and illuminate the collective memory of humanity.
Cultural Diversity and Heritage Diversity
5. The diversity of cultures and heritage in our world is an irreplaceable source of
spiritual and intellectual richness for all humankind. The protection and
enhancement of cultural and heritage diversity in our world should be actively
promoted as an essential aspect of human development.
6. Cultural heritage diversity exists in time and space, and demands respect for other
cultures and all aspects of their belief systems. In cases where cultural values appear
to be in conflict, respect for cultural diversity demands acknowledgment of the
legitimacy of the cultural values of all parties.
99. Sapone 99
7. All cultures and societies are rooted in the particular forms and means of tangible
and intangible expression which constitute their heritage, and these should be
8. It is important to underline a fundamental principle of UNESCO, to the effect that
the cultural heritage of each is the cultural heritage of all. Responsibility for cultural
heritage and the management of it belongs, in the first place, to the cultural
community that has generated it, and subsequently to that which cares for it.
However, in addition to these responsibilities, adherence to the international charters
and conventions developed for conservation of cultural heritage also obliges
consideration of the principles and responsibilities flowing from them. Balancing
their own requirements with those of other cultural communities is, for each
community, highly desirable, provided achieving this balance does not undermine
their fundamental cultural values.
Values and Authenticity
9. Conservation of cultural heritage in all its forms and historical periods is rooted in
the values attributed to the heritage. Our ability to understand these values depends,
in part, on the degree to which information sources about these values may be
understood as credible or truthful. Knowledge and understanding of these sources of
information, in relation to original and subsequent characteristics of the cultural
heritage, and their meaning, is a requisite basis for assessing all aspects of authenticity.
10. Authenticity, considered in this way and affirmed in the Charter of Venice, appears
as the essential qualifying factor concerning values. The understanding of
authenticity plays a fundamental role in all scientific studies of the cultural heritage,
in conservation and restoration planning, as well as within the inscription procedures
used for the World Heritage Convention and other cultural heritage inventories.
11. All judgements about values attributed to cultural properties as well as the credibility
of related information sources may differ from culture to culture, and even within
the same culture. It is thus not possible to base judgements of values and authenticity
within fixed criteria. On the contrary, the respect due to all cultures requires that
heritage properties must considered and judged within the cultural contexts to which
12. Therefore, it is of the highest importance and urgency that, within each culture,
recognition be accorded to the specific nature of its heritage values and the
credibility and truthfulness of related information sources.
13. Depending on the nature of the cultural heritage, its cultural context, and its
evolution through time, authenticity judgements may be linked to the worth of a
great variety of sources of information. Aspects of the sources may include form and
design, materials and substance, use and function, traditions and techniques, location
and setting, and spirit and feeling, and other internal and external factors. The use of
these sources permits elaboration of the specific artistic, historic, social, and scientific
dimensions of the cultural heritage being examined.
Suggestions for follow-up (proposed by H. Stovel)
100. Sapone 100
1. Respect for cultural and heritage diversity requires conscious efforts to avoid
imposing mechanistic formulae or standardized procedures in attempting to define
or determine authenticity of particular monuments and sites.
2. Efforts to determine authenticity in a manner respectful of cultures and heritage
diversity requires approaches which encourage cultures to develop analytical
processes and tools specific to their nature and needs. Such approaches may have
several aspects in common:
efforts to ensure assessment of authenticity involve multidisciplinary
collaboration and the appropriate utilisation of all available expertise and
efforts to ensure attributed values are truly representative of a culture and the
diversity of its interests, in particular monuments and sites;
efforts to document clearly the particular nature of authenticity for
monuments and sites as a practical guide to future treatment and monitoring;
efforts to update authenticity assessments in light of changing values and
3. Particularly important are efforts to ensure that attributed values are respected, and
that their determination included efforts to build, ad far as possible, a
multidisciplinary and community consensus concerning these values.
4. Approaches should also build on and facilitate international co-operation among all
those with an interest in conservation of cultural heritage, in order to improve global
respect and understanding for the diverse expressions and values of each culture.
5. Continuation and extension of this dialogue to the various regions and cultures of
the world is a prerequisite to increasing the practical value of consideration of
authenticity in the conservation of the common heritage of humankind..
6. Increasing awareness within the public of this fundamental dimension of heritage is
an absolute necessity in order to arrive at concrete measures for safeguarding the
vestiges of the past. This means developing greater understanding of the values
represented by the cultural properties themselves, as well as respecting the role such
monuments and sites play in contemporary society.
Conservation: all efforts designed to understand cultural heritage, know its history and
meaning, ensure its material safeguard and, as required, its presentation, restoration and
enhancement. (Cultural heritage is understood to include monuments, groups of buildings
and sites of cultural value as defined in article one of the World Heritage Convention).
101. Sapone 101
Information sources: all material, written, oral and figurative sources which make it
possible to know the nature, specifications, meaning and history of the cultural heritage.
The Nara Document on Authenticity was drafted by the 45 participants at the Nara Conference
on Authenticity in Relation to the World Heritage Convention, held at Nara, Japan, from 1-6
November 1994, at the invitation of the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Government of Japan) and
the Nara Prefecture. The Agency organized the Nara Conference in cooperation with UNESCO,
ICCROM and ICOMOS.
This final version of the Nara Document has been edited by the general rapporteurs of the Nara
Conference, Mr. Raymond Lemaire and Mr. Herb Stovel.
VII. Six Themes for the Next Millenium
Architectural Review, The, July, 1994 by Juhani Pallasmaa
In an age when many seem to have abandoned hope in architecture or its potential for
enobling mankind, this essay proposes that our discipline, properly understood, can offer
many subtle possibilities for bettering the lot of humanity. The article is based on the
Herman Miller Lecture given at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London earlier
this year. 'There is a widely shared sense that Western ways of seeing, knowing and
representing have irreversibly altered in recent times; but there is little consensus over what
this might mean or what direction Western culture is now taking,' writes Jon R. Snyder in his
introduction to Gianni Vattimo's seminal philosophical investigation of our age, entitled The
End of Modernity.(1) The emerging new horizon, or perhaps more correctly, the
disappearance of a horizon altogether, seems to annihilate the ground of the ideals and
aspirations of Modernity. The view of the world and the mission of architecture that had
appeared unquestionably grounded in concepts of truth and ethics, as well as in a social
vision and commitment, have shattered, and the sense of purpose and order has faded away.
It is revealing of our age that the architectural avant-garde of today has all but abandoned
the issues of planning, housing, mass production and industrialisation, which were all central
challenges of modernity.
Why is it that architecture seems to turn away from social reality and become self-referential
and self-motivated? Why are narcissism and self-indulgence replacing empathy and social
The idea of totality which is central for the thinking of modernity, and the accompanying
notions of an era and of progress have lost their validity; it is no longer possible to
understand reality through a single conceptual construction or representation. Towards the
end of our millennium, universal history has become impossible as history has disintegrated
into a multitude of alternative heterogeneous histories, and simultaneously the perspective of
102. Sapone 102
redemption has vanished. The great prospect of redemption brought about by Modern
architecture, as narrated by Siegfried Giedion and others, has also lost its credibility and, as a
consequence, a 'multitude of suppressed alternative histories are being unveiled from the
shadow of the pathetic story of the emancipation of architecture'.
'For some time now there has been an extraordinary receptiveness to theory, more especially
to philosophy, in the architectural community,' writes Karsten Harries.(2) 'That fact invites
thoughtful consideration ... One thing the widespread interest in philosophy that has become
so much part of the post-modern architectural scheme suggests is that architecture has
become uncertain of its way.'
The bewildering interest in theorising and verbal explanation of architectural meanings and
intentions today reveals an uncertainty of the role and essence of architecture. Architecture is
nervously seeking its self-definition and autonomy in the embrace of the culture of
consumption, which tends to turn it into a commodity and entertainment.
Truly disturbing buildings today, that barely hide their attachment to nihilism and mental
violence, are viewed and accepted as manifestations of a new aesthetic sensibility. The allapproving ideology of consumption accepts and exploits any aesthetic or moral diversion,
before it can create a sufficient critical distance to function as an authentic opposition. The
post-historical condition has annihilated the possibility of a true avant garde.
A growing entangling of the arts and their philosophical foundations has been apparent since
the 1960s and this development is also reflected in the current tendency of architecture to
become increasingly identified with its own theory and rationalisation. Art has turned away
from the task of representing reality to survey the problem of representation itself, and to
the essence of its particular medium. The disappearance of stable ground has forced art at
large into critical negativity, an attempt to define its territory through negation and denial.
The logocentrism of today's architecture also reflects a loss of innocence; the tacit practice of
architecture within the continuum of architectural culture has turned into a conscious
intellectual fabrication. And the obsession for originality has eliminated the possibility of
I believe that we can understand the current uncertainties of architecture more clearly if we
are able to see the cultural condition that we live in at the end of our millennium. This could
enable us to grasp why 'the horoscope of architecture' does not look good, as Alvar Aalto
prophesied as early as 1958.
The central theme in the Modernist architectural theory was the representation of the spacetime continuum. Architecture was seen as a representation of the world view and an
expression of the space-time structure of the physical and experiential reality. The space-time
dimension is, of course, central in all ideas and activities of the humankind from the hidden
geometries of language to forms of production and politics. An analysis of the post-historical
time-space experience brings us to the core of current frustrations in architectural
103. Sapone 103
David Harvey uses the notion 'time-space compression' in his book The Condition of
Postmodernity in reference to the fundamental changes in the qualities of space and time,
and he argues that we are forced to alter in quite radical ways our representation of the
world.(3) In Harvey's view 'the experience of time-space compression is challenging, exciting,
stressful, and sometimes deeply troubling, capable of sparking, therefore, a diversity of social,
cultural, and political responses. We have been experiencing, these last two decades, an
intense phase of time-space compression that has had a disorienting and disruptive impact
upon political-economic practices, the balance of class power, as well as upon cultural and
Man used to seek eternal life through overcoming limitations of time, whereas today we seek
salvation through overcoming limitations of space. The compression of time-space and the
consequent flatness of experience has caused a curious fusion of these two dimensions; the
spatialisation of time and the temporalisation of space. Instantaneity and the collapse of time
horizons have reduced our experience to a series of unrelated presents. Also the production
of commodities has placed emphases on instantaneity and disposability, novelty and fashion,
and this development has expanded to the realm of values, life-styles, cultural products and
The reversion to images of a lost past in architecture is grounded in the very strategy of
capitalist economy; the whole of history becomes a market place; local and ethnic traditions
and historical settings are fabricated under the disguise of a search for roots. Thematisation
is the newest strategy of persuasion, of directing and controlling emotional response, by
detaching imagery from its spontaneous autonomy; the image is not allowed to arise from
within but it is forced into a preconceived interpretation.
'Everything tends to flatten out at the level of contemporaneity and simultaneity, thus
producing a dehistorisation of experience,' writes Fredric Jameson.(4) The loss of
temporality is accompanied by loss of depth. Jameson has emphasised the 'depthlessness' of
contemporary cultural production and its fixation with appearances, surfaces, and instant
impacts. He describes post-modern architecture by the notion of 'contrived depthlessness'.
'It is hardly surprising that the artist's relation to history ... has shifted, writes David Harvey,
'that in the era of mass television there has emerged an attachment to surfaces rather than
roots, to collage rather than in-depth work, to superimposed quoted images rather than
worked surfaces, to a collapsed sense of time and space rather than solidly achieved cultural
In the post-historical experience, truth becomes replaced by the aesthetic and rhetoric
experience. As the ground of truth is lost, aesthetics takes over, and everything turns into
pure aesthetics; technology, economics, politics as well as war.
The surprising success of high-tech architecture in our eclectic and revisionist age can be
understood through its capacity to determine its own criteria of quality and goals within its
self-defined realm through replacing the issues of representation by the inner logic of
104. Sapone 104
The criteria of performance that high-tech architecture promotes appears to have objective
ground; metaphysical questions have turned into the logic of technology. In Heidegger's
view: 'twentieth-century technology is historically the most advanced form of Western
metaphysics' as a result of the fact that technology has brought objectivisation of thought to
its historical extreme.
DEFENCE OF LITERARY QUALITY
'In his literary testament entitled Six Memos for the Next Millennium Italo Calvino, the
writer of The Invisible Cities acknowledges the confusion and shallowness of our time.(5)
But he expresses an emphatic confidence in literature. 'My confidence in the future of
literature consists in the knowledge that there are things that only literature can give us, by
means specific to it,' he writes.
Calvino gave the six manuscripts for his lectures at Harvard University (the Charles Eliot
Norton Lectures) which were never delivered because of his sudden death, the following six
titles: 1. Lightness, 2. Quickness, 3. Exactitude, 4. Visibility, 5. Multiplicity, 6. Consistency.
No manuscript for the sixth lecture has been found, so Calvino left five poetic and wise
essays on the feasibility of literary art in the post-modern condition. The essays present
essential criteria for literary quality, which can strengthen the self-defence of literature
against the shallowing impacts of post-historical culture. 'In each of my lectures I have set
myself the task of recommending to the next millennium a particular value close to my heart,
the value I want to recommend today is precisely this: In an age when other fantastically
speedy, widespread media are triumphing, and running the risk of flattening all
communication on to a single, homogenous surface, the function of literature is
communication between things that are different simply because they are different, not
blunting but even sharpening differences between them, following the true bent of written
'Only if poets and writers set themselves tasks that no one else dares imagine will literature
continue to have a function,' he states. 'The grand challenge for literature is to be capable of
weaving together the various branches of knowledge, the various 'codes' into a manyfold and
multifaceted vision of the world.'
Confidence in the future of architecture can, in my view, be based on the very same
knowledge; existential meanings of inhabiting space can be wrought by the art of
architecture alone. Architecture continues to have a great human task in mediating between
the world and ourselves and in providing a horizon of understanding our existential
DEFENCE OF ARCHITECTURAL QUALITY
It is evident that the current cultural condition renders the emergence of profound
architecture as difficult as of profound literature. The post-historical condition tends to erase
the very foundations of architectural manifestation by uprooting ideas and experiments
before they have had time to take root in societal soil. It turns them into instantaneous
105. Sapone 105
commodities in the market of images, into a harmless entertainment devoid of existential
Some of the essential questions of the architectural profession today are: can architecture
define a credible social and cultural goal for itself; can architecture be rooted in culture in
order to create an experience of locality, place and identity; can architecture re-create a
tradition, a shared ground which provides a basis for the criteria of authenticity and quality?
Following Calvino's scheme, I wish to suggest six themes for the re-enchantment of
architecture at the turn of the millennium. I firmly believe in the continued human mission
of architecture and its possibility of grounding us in the continuum of time and in the
specificity of place. The six themes that I regard essential for the strengthening of
architecture's position in the post-historical reality are: 1. Slowness, 2. Plasticity, 3.
Sensuousness, 4. Authenticity, 5. Idealisation, 6. Silence.
I do not have the opportunity here of developing these themes to the extent of separate
lectures, but I shall sketch short notes on each theme.
'Architecture is not only about domesticating space,' writes Karsten Harries, 'it is also a deep
defence against the terror of time. The language of beauty is essentially the language of
Italo Calvino describes our incapability to grasp the dimension of time: 'Long novels written
today are perhaps a contradiction: the dimension of time has been shattered, we cannot live
or think except in fragments of time each of which goes off along its own trajectory and
immediately disappears. We can rediscover the continuity of time only in the novels of that
period when time no longer seemed stopped and did not yet seem to have exploded, a
period that lasted no more than a hundred years.'
Indeed, today we experience the slow, healing progression of time in the great nineteenthcentury Russian, German and French novels with the same pleasurable nostalgia and
fascination that we look at the architectural remains of glorious civilisations of the past. But
also architectural works are museums of time and they also have the capacity of suspending
time. Great architecture petrifies time; even today we can experience the slow time of the
Middle Ages in the voids of the great cathedrals.
There is a tacit wisdom of architecture that has accumulated in history and tradition. This is
a wisdom that luminously reveals the mental esence of the art of architecture. But
architecture needs slowness to re-connect itself with this source of silent knowledge.
Architecture requires slowness in order to develop again a cumulative knowledge, to
accumulate a sense of continuity and to become enrooted in culture.
We need an architecture that rejects momentariness, speed and fashion; instead of
accelerating change and a sense of uncertainty architecture must slow down our experience
of reality in order to create an experiential background for grasping and understanding
106. Sapone 106
change. Instead of current obsession with novelty, architecture must acknowledge and
respond to the bio-cultural and archaic dimensions of the human psyche.
Architecture has become an art of the printed image fixed by the hurried eye of the camera.
As buildings loose their plasticity and their connection with the language of the body, they
become isolated in the distant and cool realm of vision. The dominant role of the
photographed image in today's architectural culture as well as new graphic means of
generating architectural images have contributed to the flatness and retinality of architecture.
With the loss of tactility and the measures and details crafted for the human body and hand,
architecture becomes repulsively flat, sharp-edged, immaterial and unreal.
Flatness, the lack of three-dimensionality, is partly also due to the techno-economic
recquirement for thinness, lightness and temporality; buildings are constructed merely as
visual images, and their surfaces become ever thinner and more weightless. But a sense of
flatness also results from the fact that our capacity for plastic imagination is weakening;
buildings tend to be a combination of the two-dimensional projections of plan and section,
instead of a real sensory spatial imagination. The architectural profession at large has turned
into a paper profession that thinks and communicates through lines on paper rather than
through a bodily and physical participation. The sense of flatness is reinforced by the
diminishing role of craft in construction, by non-tectonic construction, and extensive use of
synthetic materials which do not allow the gaze to penetrate their surfaces of technical
Architecture must again learn to speak of materiality, gravity and the tectonic logic of its own
making. Architecture has to become a plastic art again and to engage our full bodily
Architecture is inherently an artform of the body and of all the senses. But the instantaneity
of the 'rainfall of images', as Calvino calls it, has detached architecture from other sensory
realms and turned it solely into an art of the eye. But even vision implies an unconscious
ingredient of touch; we stroke the edges, surfaces and details of buildings with out eyes.
We live in an era with a frustrating discrepancy and distance between the sensory experience
of the world and the consciousness created by it, on one hand, and the biocultural responses
accumulated in our unconscious reactions through millennia, on the other. Our relation to
physical reality keeps weakening and we live increasingly in a world of dreams, in a stream of
unrelated sensory impressions.
It is the task of architecture to mediate between outer and inner realities that otherwise tend
to depart from each other. It is the task of architecture to provide stable and reliable ground
for the perdception of the world, to provide the ground for a homecoming. And a
homecoming cannot be grounded in a sentimental return to the past; it has to be created
through a profound understanding of the phenomenological essence of the art of
107. Sapone 107
architecture and of the current human condition, and through means that are radical enough
to resist the mental forces of conditioned desire.
Rainer Maria Rilke's description of the traces of lives lived in a 'demolished house, left on the
wall of the adjacent building in The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge is an astonishing
document of a poet's empathetic capacity and the epic resonance of his work: 'But the walls
themselves were the most unforgettable. The stubborn life of these rooms had not allowed
itself to be trampled out. It was still there; it clung to the nails that had been left in the walls;
it found a resting-place on the remaining handbreadth of flooring; it squatted beneath the
corner beams where a little bit of space remained. There were the midday meals and the
sicknesses and the exhalations and the smoke of years, and the stale breath of mouths, and
the oily odour of perspiring feet. There were the pungent tang of urine and the stench of
burning soot and the grey reek of potatoes, and the heavy, sickly fumes of rancid grease. The
sweetish, lingering smell of neglected infants was there, and the smell of frightened children
who go to school, and the stuffiness of the beds of nubile youths.'(6)
The architecture of us architects is certainly sterile and schematic in comparison to the poet's
sensibility. The spectrum of emotions conveyed by today's architecture is confined to the
narrow range of the visual aesthetic experience, and it lacks melancholic and tragic as well as
ecstatic polarities. But great architecture is not about aesthetic style, but about embodied
images of authentic life, with all its contradictions and irreconcilabilities. And authentic
architecture communicates its existential significance through our entire bodily and mental
constitution. Architecture provides the ground for perceiving and understanding the world
as a continuum of time and culture.
I am aware of the philosophical difficulties of distinguishing between essence and
appearance, and the consequent ambiguity of the notion of authenticity. Regardless of that,
and the somewhat fasionable tone of the term itself, I want to argue for the possibility and
significance of authenticity in architecture. Authenticity is frequently identified with the ideas
of artistic autonomy and originality. But I understand authenticity more as the quality of
deep rootedness in the stratifications of culture.
Emotions and reactions in the consumerist world are increasingly conditioned. We need
works of art and architecture to defend the autonomy of emotional response. In the world
of inauthenticity and simulation we need islands of authenticity that let our reactions grow
autonomously and allow us to identify with our own emotions.
As our existential experience looses its coherence through the mosaic of placeless and
timeless information, we become detached from traditional sources of identity. It is the task
of architecture to provide a horizon of understanding our being in the world and, finally, of
ourselves. Authenticity of architectual works supports a confidence in time and human
nature; it provides the ground for individual identity.
Architecture is a conservative art. It is conservative in the sense that it materialises and
preserves the history of culture. Buildings and cities trace the continuum of culture in which
108. Sapone 108
we place ourselves and by which we can recognize our identities. The way I see the essence
of architecture's conservatism does not exclude radicality; on the contrary, architecture must
reinforce our existential experience in a radical manner against the forces of alienation and
detachment. Architecture, as all art, makes us experience our own being with extraordinary
weight and intensity. It enables us to dwell with dignity.
I do not believe that we can expect to build an Arcadia through architecture in our troubled
time. But we can create works of architectural art that confirm human value, reveal the
poetic dimensions of everyday life and, consequently, serve as cores of hope in a world that
seems to loose its coherence and meaning. As the continuity of architectural culture is lost,
the world of architecture becomes fragmented into detached and isolated works, an
archipelago of architecture. But the patron saint of the archipelago of architecture is hope.
My acknowledgement of a conflict between architecture and the current cultural condition
could, perhaps, be interpreted as a support to the view that the architect should faithfully
fulfil the explicit desires of the client. I want to say firmly that I do not believe in such a
populist view. Uncritical acceptance of vox populi or the client's brief only leads to
sentimental kitsch; the architect's responsibility is to penetrate the surface of commercially,
socially and momentarily conditioned desire.
The authentic artist and architect must engage in an ideal world; architecture makes concrete
an ideal view of life. And architecture is lost at the point that this vision and aspiration for an
ideal is abandoned.
In my view, only the architect, who projects his ideal client and ideal society as he designs,
can create buildings that give mankind hope and direction. Without the masterpieces of
modernity, our understanding of contemporary life, and of ourselves, would be decisively
weaker than now: these works materialise possibilities of human thought and existence.
Architecture can either tolerate and encourage individualisation or stifle and reject it. We can
make a distinction between an architecture of accommodation and an architecture of
rejection. The first one facilitates reconciliation, the second attempts to impose through its
arrogant forms and gestures. The first is based on images that are rooted in our common
memory, that is, in the phenomenologically authentic ground of architecture. The second
manipulates images, striking and fashionable, perhaps, but which do not incorporate our
identities, memories and dreams. It is likely that this approach creates more imposing
buildings to be published on the glossy pages of magazines dedicated for architectural
fashion, but the first attitude provides the condition of homecoming.
Today we need an architecture which does not seek fawning or bombast, effect or adoration.
We need an architecture of empathy and humility.
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Following Calvino's scheme, I could leave my sixth theme as a mere title, particularly since I
have earlier written extensively about an architecture of silence, but I shall, however, add a
few concluding notes on my last theme.(7)
'Nothing has changed man's nature so much as the loss of silence,' writes the Swiss
philosopher Max Picard.(8) 'Poetry grows out of silence and thrusts for silence.' Picard
concludes his thought-provoking book The World of Silence with Kierkegaard's instruction:
All great art is engaged in silence. The silence of art is not mere absence of sound, but an
independent sensory and mental state, an observing, listening and knowing silence. It is a
silence that evokes a sense of melancholy and a yearning for the absent ideal. Also great
architecture evokes silence. Experiencing a building is not only a matter of looking at its
space, forms and surfaces -- it is also a matter of listening to its characteristic silence. And
every great architectural work has its unique silence.
A powerful architectural experience eliminates noise and turns my consciousness to myself; I
only hear my own heartbeat. The innate silence of an experience of architecture results, it
seems, from the fact that it turns our attention to our own existence -- I find myself listening
to my own being.
The task of architecture is to create, maintain and protect silence. Great architecture is
silence turned into matter, it is petrified silence. As the thunder and clatter of construction
has faded, as the shouting of workers has ceased, the building turns into a timeless
monument of silence. And what a faithfulness and patience can be felt in the great works of
In architecture today we yearn for an expression that aims at the spontaneity and authenticity
of the individual experience. We yearn for an architecture that rejects noise, efficiency and
fashion, an architecture that does not aspire after the dramatic, but rather aims at lyricising
the real things of everyday life. We yearn for radical ordinariness, a natural architecture, of
the kind that fills our mind with good feeling when we enter a peasant cottage. We need an
ascetic, concentrative and contemplative architecture, an architecture of silence.
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(7)Pallasmaa, Juhani The Limits of Architecture -- Towards an Architecture of Silence,
Helsinki: Arkkitehti, 1990.
(8)Picard, Max The World of Silence. Washington: Gateway Editions, 1988.
COPYRIGHT 1994 EMAP Architecture
COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning
Juhani Pallasmaa "Six themes for the next millenium". Architectural Review, The.
FindArticles.com. 19 Mar, 2010.
COPYRIGHT 1994 EMAP Architecture
COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning
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Sarah received her Bachelor of Arts, Honors in Architecture degree from The University of
California, Berkeley in 2006. Exposing herself to the world of evocative, pioneering new
technologies in design and architecture, Berkeley bridged the gap where the future of
architectural innovation meets sustainability and green design. At the College of
Environmental Design she pursued a Minor in City and Regional Planning, while finding a
great pull towards Urbanization in Developing Countries; as well she worked with a
Graduate Design Build Studio to Create an International Flying Clinic.
Studying at the University of Miami, Coral Gables in the Bachelors of Architecture Program
from 2001-2004, she minored in business administration and partook in a Real Estate
Finance for Development certificate program. She was the University of Miami 2003-2004
American Institute of Architecture Students President, Initiating the First Annual Black and
White Student Art Auction Benefit raising several thousand dollars for Architecture for
Humanity to build Mobile HIV Clinics in Africa and earning the Faculty Award for Student
A complete building is not limited to one trade. Combining her experience from
architecture, urban design, interior design, development, sustainability and construction
practice, Sarah is currently focusing on the design and development of The Pearl
Humanitarian Hotel and School Thesis Project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2010.