Second part of the project
12.03.2012 - Tuuli Kassi
After our group Komitu received the first grants, we sent three of us again to Cambodia. The purpose of the second trip was to have a participatory workshop with the local youth, hold presentations and meet as many people as possible. All went well, the workshop was successful and we had a load of people at the two presentations in a local university and a cultural center.
So a year ago, all we were still missing was a plot of land for the youth center. Our partner organization had said that the process for acquiring a site could take up to 6 months, and we couldn’t do much but submit to that. Then just a few weeks after returning from the workshop trip, we got a message from CVS telling that a site had been found. It was in the community where we had held the workshop for the youth. The association KKKHRDA managing the area had had their representative in our workshop, and he had been so convinced that he had suggested they offer the building site. From this sprouted an idea of co-operation of the two organizations that had similar interests.
Last summer two of our group went to see the site, had a workshop with the neighbors, and looked for local manufacturers of different building materials, alongside meeting all kinds of people again. After that, the design phase got fully underway. The site was double the land area compared to the one we had used during the course. With six people on the team and future users to consider, the process of designing has been anything but straightforward. First the building grew with the site but then it had to be made smaller again to fit the budget. Last fall went by so fast with all the work related to our project taking most of my time. And now I’m finally here to see the walls go up!
Tuuli Kassi is a student of architecture taking part in a project targeted at designing and building a youth center in Cambodia. Tuuli will be blogging straight from the construction site about her observations concerning the building process itself as well as the people she comes across in Cambodia.
The project is all about finding good design solutions while dealing with scarce financial recourses but plenty of helping hands. How does this all affect the creative minds of the architects?
Kouk Khleang Youth Center is a project coordinated by Finnish KOMITU architects for two Cambodian NGOs. The fruitful collaboration originates from an Aalto University Public Buildings course held in Cambodia in 2010. Join Tuuli Kassi from KOMITU for a month on the building site in a Phnom Penh suburb.