Habitat for Humanity
Cambodian Sustainable Housing
Our short-listed entry to the Cambodian Sustainable Housing competition responds to the needs of its inhabitants and to the ethos of Cambodian living. It presents a way of understanding the world around it, relating itself to the people who dwell within and the places and materials they have found. Its details of construction, layout, and aesthetic can be read for aspirations and ideals of the individual and country. The building shapes the lives of its inhabitants while its inhabitants, in turn, shape it.
Built in response to the local microclimate, the house’s sloped roofs are designed to both shed the monsoons and to provide shade from the sun. The gap between the walls and the roof allows for passive ventilation of cooking smoke across the centre of the house, and also prevents hot air from gathering within the structure. The ping pong bamboo screens tie into the structure and provide light-weight shade and privacy, while still allowing for natural ventilation. A water cistern is built into the brick core enabling the collection of rainwater for cooking and bathing.
The design is customizable, affordable, and secure. Its modular, independent platforms allow for construction in a wide variety of site situations, reflecting the wide variety of environments that Habitat for Humanity - Cambodia addresses, from the shorelines of Lake Tonle to the compact urban settings of Phnom Penh. The phased building is inexpensive to construct in its basic form, and is easily further developed when additional funds become available. It is solid enough to feel safe, and is respectful of the public lifestyle held by many Cambodians.