Thon Mun Community Centre provides free classes to children and offers a public gathering place, activating the local pagoda complex into a public arena. With 65 volunteers and local craftsmen the center was completed in two winter phases.
The project is composed of two classrooms on a raised platform, enveloped by a series of porous bamboo screens. The ceiling bamboo screen extends between the two volumes connecting them to create a shaded corridor overlooking a horizon of rice fields.
We envision technology as a collaborative exploration of cultural practices with environmental consciousness. Thon Mun Village Community Centre was completely constructed by local village builders with the help of student volunteers internationally. Therefore, technology is the conversation between design and construction in re-inventing local building practices and material.
While we actively explore ways to provide the locals with a better option, we do so with an intent of minimizing possible forms of cultural imposition and empowering their own cultural identity. This practice allows the villagers to recognize the strength within their local knowledge. Through our projects, we hope to witness a revival of more Khmer traditions blending into the urban development in Cambodia.
While maintaining the simplicity in form, the gabion wall of the sanitation facilities signifies the volunteering efforts. We collected the rubbles of temples destroyed in the area to fill up the wire cages. The gabion wall became a manifestation of historical strata reconstructed as the future of civility and social cohesion.
200 local students in Thon Mun Village can now receive grass-root education everyday after our installation in Thon Mun, Takeo, Cambodia. The teaching quality has been further maintained by our charity and our local partner – New Futures Organisation through a series of teaching assessment and monitoring.
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