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Envisioning the Future of the Post Office Square | Architecture Models
13 October 2016 to 13 January 2017

“Envisioning the Future of the Post Office Square,” an exhibition of architectural models designed by seven groups of university students from Norton University, Pannasastra University of Cambodia and Royal University of Fine Arts, who participated in a competition to re-design the future for the square.

Culturally, ecologically, and contextually responsive solutions are powerful tools towards safeguarding futures; preserving the characteristics of cities and solving currently threatened realities. Our competition is a place for ideas to grow into possibilities. It can build connections between multidisciplinary fields to facilitate positive developments towards sharing space with local communities in Phnom Penh. This competition is also a platform for design which can be socially responsive and contextually sustainable: an enabler for growth. It is about preserving the wonderful variety of the characteristics of the city through sensitive solutions, progressing knowledge, and action aimed at supporting grassroots communities in cities such as Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh is a city of co-existence, in which urban heritages exist side by side alternative urban possibilities. A key site in Phnom Penh, the Post Office is unique given its classic design, while being surrounded by historical sites and buildings. It challenges urban designers to think about how the square surrounding the Post Office can be better socially, economically, culturally, and ecologically designed to benefit local communities within the context of Phnom Penh’s current developmental challenges. The task of creating models of the future was given to university students who are both inspired by architectures of the past and present, while also believing that urban design can be a powerful tool towards solving the current urban development conundrum of preserving the important characteristics of cities and safeguarding the future.

In collaboration with Norton University, the Community Art Gallery of The Asia Foundation is sponsoring the architectural competition, “Phnom Penh Urban Competition: the Post Office Area.” This project was organized by Lumhor Journal, Arts + Society, and Studio Publico, in collaboration with Khmer Architecture Tours, Space for Architecture Cambodia, and the Phnom Penh Post. The project has been moderated by Pen Sereypagna, an urban researcher based in Phnom Penh, and founder of Lumhor, which focuses on architecture, urbanism, and design in Cambodia.

Beginning in July 2016, applications from sixteen groups of university students were submitted. A selection panel consisting of professionals in urban design selected seven groups which best embody the concept and design for the future urbanization of the Post Office Square. These seven selected architectural models will be on display at the Post Office from October 7 – 11, 2016, and will be exhibited at the Community Art Gallery beginning on October 13, 2016 and continuing for three months.
While this competition was designed to inspire the creation of new concepts, it also has the potential to inspire real application to Phnom Penh’s evolving, developing city. The hope is to develop and inspire Cambodian youth to conceptualize the future of the city with greater breadth and depth, that is evolving even faster to become a home to millions.

1st Award: Horn Sok, Din Sithika, Nuon Sereyvuth, Korng Sovanneth

Artist: 1st Award: Horn Sok, Din Sithika, Nuon Sereyvuth, Korng Sovanneth

 2nd Award: Sok Sopheap, Hun Sokagna, Chhor Savin, Seng Chanraksmey

Artist: 2nd Award: Sok Sopheap, Hun Sokagna, Chhor Savin, Seng Chanraksmey

3 Award: Kong Heng, Chiv Vengseng, Rim Virak

Artist: 3 Award: Kong Heng, Chiv Vengseng, Rim Virak

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