With more and more people making their way to Siem Reap to visit the magnificent temples at Angkor (the largest temple complex in the world), we can truly say that tourism in Cambodia is on the rise as a fashionable destination!
To meet the demands of the growing number of visitors, the city of Siem Reap wants to invest in infrastructure, particularly in relation to air transport. In light of these exciting times for Cambodian-bound tourism, today’s post is on a proposal for a new International Terminal for Siem Reap’s Airport.
The proposal is by international architecture practice Pascall+Watson, known for their award-winning designs with a particular interest in the aviation industry. (In fact, recently, the studio won the ‘Best Retail Architecture UK Property Award for Luxury Retail 2015’ for their £9.5m project situated in Heathrow’s Terminal 5).
Siem Reap’s International Terminal proposal is a colourful game of sculptural architectural elements in bloom. The flora pattern is based on ancient carvings found in Angkor’s temples, reinterpreted into three-dimensional giant structures.
Aside from the colourful blossoms, we particularly like the way the building is laid out as fluid transitions of inside-outside spaces. This is also understood through the roof structure, as the floral geometries increasingly open to form a perforated canopy. In the design, Pascall+Watson have juxtaposed many quintessentially Cambodian environments – water, green fields and the jungle inspired man-made canopy – and reinterpreted them into contemporary architecture without falling into the cringe-worthy pastiche territory.
The outcome of Pascall+Watson’s vision feels like less of a formal building and more of a crafted landscape; a wonderful and welcoming hub into Cambodia. The studio has also included a water feature: a small lake doubling up as a water-taxi terminal, surrounded by pixelated garden spaces.
The terminal reached the limelight back in 2013 when it was shortlisted for WAF’s ‘Future Project: Infrastructure’ category. We hope to see their vision for Cambodia built soon to welcome the crowds of tourists to Siem Reap!