WaterHall Project, located in Sneung Village of Battambang in Cambodia, is a community hall which houses a pump and filter system that generates clean water for locals. The social architecture project won the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) Architect Community Project Fund sponsorship. Waterhall Project sustainably provides safe drinking water to underprivileged communities, whilst creating a social hub to garner social gatherings, celebrations and community festivities. It also mitigates the pollution problem created by plastic bottle waste. The discovering and documenting of local building technique and handicraft making methodologies was important during the design process, as it serves to inspire modern architecture.
Sneung is a remote village located in the outskirts of Battambang, which was previously ravaged by landmines in the Khmer Rouge era. The village uses a lake nearby and wells as its main water sources. This means that access to water is very unreliable, as the lake is dry for half of the year due to recurring droughts and floods caused by climate change, and wells are contaminated by pollution from nearby factories. Furthermore, the village is also affected by waste pollution caused by constant usages of plastic bottled water.
In order to alleviate the water shortage problem, our team raised funds and created the WaterHall Project. Water is collected from both natural rainfall and the nearby lake which is then filtered through the system, providing safe potable water for locals to collect and use. With the villagers able to use locally made ceramic jugs and bottles to carry filtered water, the plastic bottle garbage pollution problem is then mitigated.
Upon its completion in Spring of 2019, we were able to get filtered potable water while Battambang was experiencing the worst drought in its recent history. The project was greatly welcomed by the local community and created a communal hub, cultivating the local community spirit.
Water Hall is the winner of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) Architect Community Project Fund 2017.