Cambodian Culture in the Agri Tech Centre by Squire & Partners and SAWA

Anabata Media | October 14, 2022

Two UK-based studios, Squire & Partners and SAWA collaborated on a community center project in Cambodia initiated by the Green Shoots Foundation. The project aims to create educational and entrepreneurial facilities in agricultural technology for local communities in Krong Samraong city, Oddar Meanchey province.

The main building of the agricultural technology center is by Squire & Partners and SAWAThe main building of the agricultural technology center is by Squire & Partners and SAWA.

In its master plan, this agricultural technology center is designed considering Cambodia's local culture and climatic conditions. To respond to the climate in the tropics, this project also adopts the design of residents’ houses, which generally have elevated floors, walls of woven bamboo to filter sunlight, and roofs that protrude to avoid rain splashes. During the construction, Squire & Partners and SAWA were assisted by local workers and volunteers from the UK.

Entrance to the veranda of the main buildingEntrance to the veranda of the main building.

The multipurpose hall in the main buildingThe multipurpose hall in the main building.

The main building of this agricultural technology center is a multipurpose hall equipped with an office, storage room, and indoor veranda. The hall can be arranged into two classrooms by lowering the curtains from the woven grass as its partitions. When used as a classroom, this hall requires tranquility to stay productive. Therefore, the team placed an office and storage room to separate the hall from the flexible veranda. This veranda can be used to hold workshops or temporary stalls to sell local products.

The hall can serve as a classroomThe hall can serve as a classroom.

The veranda can be used for workshops or space to sell local productsThe veranda can be used for workshops or space to sell local products.

The main building is built in a rectangular steel frame and uses local materials. Such as clay bricks, blocks from rice husks, and bamboo matting for the walls. In addition, Squire & Partners and SAWA also use former fishermen's baskets made of bamboo as lampshades in the hall of the main building.

Designs loaded with local materials and skills are also seen in the small-scale structures outside the main building. For example, a biogas toilet with a conical bamboo roof, block-making hut, chicken coops, volume for water infiltration and filtration systems, and curved grids for cucumber and string bean fields. Each structure was marked with a slate in Khmer and English.

The construction of the main building consists of a steel frame with clay bricks, rice husk blocks, and bamboo woven wallsThe construction of the main building consists of a steel frame with clay bricks, rice husk blocks, and bamboo woven walls.

Biogas toilet built separately from the main buildingThe biogas toilet was built separately from the main building.

Water infiltration and filtration facilities at this agricultural technology centerWater infiltration and filtration facilities at this agricultural technology center.

In the future, this agricultural technology center will continue to be developed through the second phase of the development plan, which includes expanding teaching facilities and providing solar power plants. In addition, Squire & Partners and SAWA hope this project can inspire other community centers in Cambodia to prioritize the needs and conditions of their users.

Site planSite plan.

Floor plan, section, and elevation of the main buildingFloor plan, section, and elevation of the main building.

 

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