Fall Semester 2015 – Cambodia: Village School Project

We are planning a school in rural Cambodia within an existing village structure about two hours north of the capital Phnom Penh. The school consists of several classrooms, a cafeteria, an auditorium as well as medical and infrastructural buildings.

We plan within the specific context of a society which is dominated on one hand by the fascinating history of the Khmer culture and on the other hand a dramatic demographic development due to the brutal civil war in the recent past. 52.1% of the population of Cambodia are under the age of 24 years, the average of the total population is 23.5 years. The question of education and care is thus socially relevant and urgent.

In addition to these specific social conditions, the availability of material resources, talent and technical skills as well as the climatic, ecological and economic conditions have to be considered in the design. The question of contemporary didactical concepts and their spatial implementation is an important issue in the semester. Together with local professionals we will develop a reasonable and customized strategy how the school system and the necessary infrastructure can be implemented in several phases. It is the declared aim of the course to develop designs that are feasible in terms of architecture and construction, from urban and neighborhood issues to the constructive detailing of individual buildings. The results of the studio should be a relevant contribution to the contemporary architectural culture of Cambodia, respecting the specific social and climatic conditions. The client considers the realization of the project.

As a start for the semester, we will built a full scale structure from bamboo in the first week (Tuesday to Tuesday) in front of the design pavilion. In this task we will be supported by experts in bamboo construction.

We also offer a seminar week on this subject to interested students. Participation is strongly recommended but not mandatory. The designs created include material-specific, architectural as well as constructive investigations, drawings and models.

The Professorship offers this course together with the integrated discipline Construction. The Professorship of Architecture and Structure, Prof. Philippe Block offers the integrated discipline Structural Construction and the Professorship of Architecture and Building Systems, Prof. Arno Schlüter offers the integrated discipline Building Systems (climatic questions).

Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel
Patrick Chladek, Amélie Fiblicher, Felix Heisel, Philippe Jorisch, Hans-Christian Rufer, Marta H. Wisniewska