Thom Mun Community Center in the northeastern town of Takeo, Cambodia provides local children a free education, and give the villagers a public place to convene. Built with a budget of just $45,000, the center was conceived by Project Little Dream, a student-initiated charity in Hong Kong that designs, builds and runs rural village schools. Thom Mun was also the winner of an Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award thanks to notable features such as bamboo screens, and a gabion wall filled with the remains of destroyed local temples.
The main building is composed of two classrooms, both of which are wrapped in breathable bamboo screens. Space between the two classrooms have been converted to a shaded rest area thanks to a ceiling screen that runs between the two independent structures. Sanitation facilities on the site made use of a more intensive approach, including a gabion wall designed to mark the efforts of volunteers. Filled with rubble from temples destroyed in the nearby area, the wall acts as a cultural reminder, as well as a symbol of future civility and social cohesion.
It took 65 volunteers and a handful of local craftsmen roughly two years to complete the project, which is now one of three schools built by the charity that provides more than 530 children with the opportunity to learn English. Since its completion, the school has been taken over by New Futures Organisation, a local charity in Takeo that operates and monitors the site.
As previously mentioned, the community center recently received an Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award, which marks it as one of the most notable projects in architecture over the past year. The competition received over 1,500 entires from more than 100 different countries around the world, which proves that the bamboo building had to overcome some fierce competition to earn its place.
Images via Architizer