The Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) and Agent 21 Global announced winners in a model house design competition for residents of Run Ta Ek eco-village and Peak Sneng village in Siem Reap province.
Villagers in both locations will be encouraged to build their homes in the style of the model houses as increasing numbers of families relocate there from land within the Angkor Archaeological Park, which the government wants cleared of residents to protect its UNESCO heritage site status and the ancient temples.
Run Ta Ek eco-village is located in Banteay Srei district while Peak Sneng is in Angkor Thom district, both in Siem Reap province and near the park.
An awards ceremony for the winners took place on January 19 with officials present from the ministries of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction; Information; Culture and Fine Arts; Also in attendance were students from Morgan Tower in Phnom Penh.
Contest coordinator Phall Piseth – an architect and lecturer in the field of architecture and urban design – said on January 19 that the competition lasted for eight weeks starting from November 1 through December 28.
Fifty three groups of third, fourth and fifth-year university students – with 131 students total – from the RUFA’s Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning entered the competition.
He said the contest had taken place in three stages. In the first and second stages, the students’ projects were checked and they were given advice by skilled architects and engineers to help direct the work of designing the structures.
The third stage was to select the best three projects by the groups of students as winners on December 28.
The winner was entry #35 by fifth-year student Seng Chhun Hour. The first runner-up was entry #4 by fifth-year students Sok Chanvibol and Chhuor Sivheang. The second runner-up was entry #34 by fifth-year students Mony Rom Vorpong and Tob Vipalin.
“For this work, we see that the students were very interested in participating. We see that all the students had really good work. Their work made it difficult for the select committee to choose a winner because they are all very good, but what we chose was in line with our principles. Not only are the designs very clean, the prices are affordable and these are projects that can actually be built,” Piseth said.
He stated that use of any of these model house designs that received prizes among the 11 groups was also encouraged. Their designs can be selected according to the practical situation and in accordance with the needs of the people in the area.
Agent 21 Global's Chief Project Officer Samrach Veasna said the three winners of the model house design project all had different ideas incorporated into them and different costs to build, though all of them were designed to fit on a 20x30m plot of land.
The first-place home can be built at a cost of $18,000. The second-place one can be built at $25,000 and the third at $30,000.
He added that the winners had each received the $2,000 prize and their model house designs will be promoted to the new villagers in Run Ta Ek eco-village and Peak Sneng village who will be encouraged to choose one of these designs to build with.
“We have studied some forms of model houses that require Khmer styles and they will become a community that fits into the Run Ta Ek area. We can take this design for us to avoid creating model houses in this area with no Khmer styles,” he continued.
Veasna said the competition was intended to show off the talent, abilities and highly creative ideas of young Cambodian people in the field of architecture.
Agent 21 Global will also sponsor the building of three real model houses in three locations that will use the designs of the contest winners.