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!


Pascall+Watson's concept for a new Siem Reap International AirportTerminal - here seen in a beautiful model - is characterised by a colourful roof canopy which represents flowers in bloom. Also note the extensive use of water which features in the design: this viewpoint showing the water-taxi pond. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
Pascall+Watson’s concept for a new Siem Reap International AirportTerminal – here seen in a beautiful model – is characterised by a colourful roof canopy which represents flowers in bloom. Also note the extensive use of water which features in the design: this viewpoint showing the water-taxi pond. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
An interior render of the terminal shows how the space is intended to feel like a natural landscape rather than a formal transit building. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
An interior render of the terminal shows how the space is intended to feel like a natural landscape rather than a formal transit building. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
Night-time bird's eye view render of Siem Reap's International Airport Terminal proposal. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
Night-time bird’s eye view render of Siem Reap’s International Airport Terminal proposal. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
Day-time bird's eye view render of Siem Reap's International Airport Terminal proposal. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
Day-time bird’s eye view render of Siem Reap’s International Airport Terminal proposal. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
3D model and section of a single floral canopy element. Aside from creating the effect of walking under an architectural forest in bloom, these beautiful elements are also designed to have a practical role in storing rainwater and providing a balance of shade and natural lighting for the terminal space. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
3D model and section of a single floral canopy element. Aside from creating the effect of walking under an architectural forest in bloom, these beautiful elements are also designed to have a practical role in storing rainwater and providing a balance of shade and natural lighting for the terminal space. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
Exploded axonometric showing the construction elements of the columns which go to form the characteristic floral canopy of the terminal. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
Exploded axonometric showing the construction elements of the columns which go to form the characteristic floral canopy of the terminal. [Source: Pascall+Watson]
The ground floor plan of the proposed Siem Reap International Airport Terminal by Pascall-Watson. Note the way the architects play with water features and vegetation, and create a seamless transition from the inside arrival space to outside destination by blending these elements into the building itself.[Source: Pascall+Watson]
The ground floor plan of the proposed Siem Reap International Airport Terminal by Pascall-Watson. Note the way the architects play with water features and vegetation, and create a seamless transition from the inside arrival space to outside destination by blending these elements into the building itself.[Source: Pascall+Watson]