Pots and tins: Renovation of the Central market Phnom Penn, Cambodia by Arte Charpentier Architects.
Text: Detail Daily
This is an unusual project about which to blog. When I first saw the yellow building, I thought it was the mausoleum of a tin-pot dictator. The architecture certainly suggests authoritarian arrogance. It transpires that it is the central market in Phnom Penn. The central, yellow authoritarian-looking building dates from 1937. Perhaps the palpable architectural arrogance has a colonial flavour?
The market has always functioned well although it developed a throng of ad hock stalls around it that cramped comfort, and reduced efficiency. Nonetheless it imparted a human scale to the building. Beyond a certain point of decrepitude, Arte Charpentier Architects were tasked with a brief to renovate the original market building, improve comfort and hygiene, maintain all the merchants on the site and integrate the building into its urban environment.
Integrating the market with its surroundings required a reorganisation of traffic and pedestrian flows in line with the local Transport Plan. Technical expertise from the authorities in Paris helped. Next was to delineate and clarify loading, drop-off and parking.
The market itself was then reorganized allowing fluid pedestrian circulation around and through the building. The final stage was the renovation of the old building and the creation of external stalls that offered protection from the sun for shoppers and traders.