Open Embrace
Trapiang Anhchang, Cambodia
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Winner of Building Trust Sustainable Housing Competition

image: Lindsay Watson Photography | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Category:
housing
Phase:
in use
Design:
Keith Greenwald and Lisa Ekle
Updated:
4 November 2014
introduction

In March 2013, Building Trust international, Habitat for Humanity & Karuna Cambodia announced the results of the Future of Sustainable Housing in Cambodia competition. The design competition asked for designs of a $3000 house that could withstand flooding and offer a safe and secure home for low income families in Cambodia. Open Embrace is one of the three winners of Building Trust international's Future of Sustainable Housing in Cambodia Competition:

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. Between the columns, 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.

 

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cultural and social context

In Cambodia, 28.3% of the population live on less than $1.25 per day (UNDP Human Development Report, 2011). People living with HIV/AIDS are especially vulnerable, as much of their income and savings have to be spent on medical treatment. Their earning capabilities are reduced, which can lead to selling of assets, including housing. Many have to move to Phnom Penh to access ART but are unlikely to have any social or economic capital. This has led to families living outside the hospital on the street in temporary slum accommodation. To compound this problem many live without formal land titles which restricts on-going investment and maintenance of residential homes and stops the notion of housing providing any form of financial security as most households are under constant threat of government or private eviction.

image gallery
Construction of Open Embrace

image: H4HC | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Corridor to living area

image: H4HC | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Integrated banded timber façade and steps to first level

image: H4HC | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Flexible open plan space

image: H4HC | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Open Embrace

image: Building Trust international | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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technical drawings
Competition Entry

image: Lisa Ekle & Keith Greenwald | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Competition Entry

image: Lisa Ekle & Keith Greenwald | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Competition Entry

image: Lisa Ekle & Keith Greenwald | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Competition Entry

image: Lisa Ekle & Keith Greenwald | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Location
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Keyword:
flood (4)
climate (18)
incremental development (11)
low budget (60)
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