building trust - cambodia flood refugee housing

Responding to the open ventilation needs of its tropical climate, the house offers a protected domestic realm that mantains a flexibility between interior & exterior and private & social. Clay brick piers anchor the ends of the house and contain all services for hygeine and nourishment. Between these bookends, an enclosure is wrapped in bamboo panels, with one end opening to a raised courtyard space. The piers enact a tectonic embrace of the living quarters, shielding them from total exposure, while still allowing for open and communal interaction between. The act of raising the house to sustain the annual flood cycle creates a shaded space below for daily activities, commerce, and socializing. The materials of the house are familiar and largely produced locally, stimulating economies and connecting communities. They honor vernacular traditions and techniques, updating them into a modern Cambodian vision. Cambodia has a long and rich architectural legacy, and its domestic spaces should be no less a point of cultural pride than the grandest of Khmer Architecture.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Lisa Ekle + Keith Greenwald

Client: Building Trust International / Habitat for Humanity


*Winning Competition Entry, selected by Building Trust International. The first prototype was completed in Cambodia in 2013 by Habitat for Humanity, with future models intended to be built throughout the region. 
*Featured in exhibition "Future Housing" at Meta House Gallery in Phnom Penh, Cambodia