A master plan to please the King of the Monks and the client.
Client: Hongkong Land
Services: Master Planning, Architecture
“Ounalom is a proposed serviced apartment complex on a site purchased in 2011 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, between the Tonle Sap River and the Wat Ounalom. The development of this site has many challenges and sensitivities; the most important constraint is its proximity to the Wat Ounalom, the most important wat in Phnom Penh and the centre of Cambodian Buddhism.
In addition to the normal statutory approvals, the development needs a seal of approval from the King of the Monks. MAP had to take a wider perspective to find a lateral, win/win solution to the King of the Monks’ desire for lower density and the client need for higher.
After conducting a detailed design analysis of the entire precinct, MAP provided a solution to enhance the appearance of the area and provide benefit both to the community and to the monks.
The MAP concept is to transform the area between the Wat Ounalom and the river into parkland, connecting the wat to the water. The upgrading of this large area of bitumen and cheap paving would consist of landscaping gardens, grassed areas and paved pathways; the planting of tall, fast growing, flowering trees; and the construction of both a pier projecting into the river, providing river boat access, and a riverside landmark water sculpture.
The proposed pier would extend into the river to provide access for river craft, opening up a new means of transporting visitors to the wat. Arriving at the pier, visitors could walk through the lovely parkland to arrive at the wat. The open area before the wat would also provide space for the large amounts of visitors on Buddhist holidays and festivals.
MAP believes the planting of trees in the precinct will enhance the views out of the serviced apartments into the tree canopy and, the trees will significantly soften the impact of the new building.”