South Field School
Oki Hiroyuki

BLOOM DESIGNS A SCHOOL TO SOOTHES THE MIND OF 1500 CAMBODIAN STUDENTS IN PHNOM PENH

Bloom Architecture as Architects

This 43 classrooms school was commissioned to Bloom in 2019 by the French Nongovernmental Organization “pour un sourire d’enfant” (PSE) in order to structure and modernize a campus of 7000 students. PSE is a NGO started shortly after Cambodia reopened its border in 1995 in the aim of providing Cambodian kids living in the dump of Steung Meanchey a chance at education. Since recent times the campus faces issues linked to a rapid development of its surroundings. The escalating real estate prices is causing the necessity for more efficient land use while the lack of storm water management in the surrounding is provoking recurrent floodings. Bloom was commissioned to develop a scalable strategy to densify the campus to an acceptable maximum.

photo_credit Antoine Raab
Antoine Raab
photo_credit Oki Hiroyuki
Oki Hiroyuki

The first intention is to densify the built structure while maintaining a maximum height of three floors in order to stay below the trees canopy. The reduction footprint linked to higher buildings is the opportunity for an interconnected network of courtyards hosting green recreational areas and serving as infrastructure for stormwater retention. The series of green courtyard will provide a serene environment for the children to learn, it is instrumental to creating a sense of community. The external areas are prolonged in series of open circulation, to foster interaction. The students can walk freely from one side of the campus to the other.

photo_credit Oki Hiroyuki
Oki Hiroyuki
photo_credit Antoine Raab
Antoine Raab

The plot of land for the South Field School was the first acquisition of PSE when the site was just a dump. The old Khmer houses present on the site, although they are not structurally sound anymore, have an historical value as they represent hope and change. Reclaimed wood from the original buildings was retained. This wood will be charred in an attempt to resist the sun and the termites.

photo_credit Oki Hiroyuki
Oki Hiroyuki
photo_credit Oki Hiroyuki
Oki Hiroyuki

The materials used within the school are available locally, they were selected to be long lasting and cost efficient. Moreover an emphasis was put on materials with natural textures and organic colors for example we promoted the use of local terracotta floor and roof tiles. The natural soil color of the façade render, complementing the compacted red laterite ground.

photo_credit Oki Hiroyuki
Oki Hiroyuki
photo_credit Antoine Raab
Antoine Raab

The building is designed to encourage curiosity while providing dignity and pride to the students. The intentional economy of means in Bloom's approach of education spaces is meant to convey value of respect and sustainability for future generations.

photo_credit Oki Hiroyuki
Oki Hiroyuki
photo_credit Oki Hiroyuki
Oki Hiroyuki

Team:

Architects: Bloom Architecture

Structure Engineer: GBC

MEP Engineer: MEP-E

Contractors: ASBIC

Photographers: Oki Hiroyuki

photo_credit Bloom Architecture
Bloom Architecture
photo_credit Bloom Architecture
Bloom Architecture
Project Credits
Contractors
GBC
Structure engineer
MEP Engineer
Photographers
Products used in this project
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct name
ManufacturersDegmeda.eu
ManufacturersPETRA
Product Spec Sheet
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