Traditional Cambodian wooden stilt houses are beautiful and practical, with the area under the living area providing a multi-use work and social space open to the flow of air but shaded from the sun. However, wooden houses are not suited for city living in the modern age. We wanted to maintain that indoor-outdoor connection of the Cambodian house. And to emphasize the beauty of the wood.
French colonial design is another interesting facet of Cambodia’s architectural history. Sadly many of the best examples have seen the wrecking ball (or worse) as a result of Cambodia’s economic development. These classic designs are practical as well, with high doors and ceilings to carry heat away.
This house was designed as a marriage of East and West, incorporating ideas and accents from traditional Cambodian house design with a French colonial influence.
The downstairs is as close to being outdoors as one can be while being comfortable inside. The house has lawn and garden on three sides, with huge windows and doors to let in the air and light. Remote controlled ceiling fans make the downstairs area cool even in the hot season, although air conditioners are available as well. The atrium was designed to transport any excess heat from the downstairs out. And the opening under the stairs provides a cross-breeze and a location for a Japanese garden inside the house.
Probably the most noticeable feature of the house is the gorgeous Cambodian “Duong Chaem” hardwood that was used for the windows, doors and floors. The challenge was to build a house that was secure, but avoid the ubiquitous steel cages that are an unfortunate necessity in the city. The wooden frames with the mosquito screens serve to provide that security and became a feature of the look of the house, with the design repeated throughout.
Kids seem to love the house layout, and younger ones will run around the house endlessly. We’ve built in two spaces in the children’s bedrooms that could be pirate hideouts or teenage getaways, or simply storage. The recreation room on the top floor of the house under the roof could serve as an escape for either parents or kids (or both). An office can be another haven, or can be converted easily into another bedroom.
The ground floor is the living and social area, where the open kitchen serves as the focal point. The 4 bedrooms are on the first floor, with balconies on the front and back side of the house. An office can also be converted into a bedroom as desired. The second floor under the roof has the large recreation room, a laundry room, a large storage room (where the water tank and pump are located) and the “upper deck”, a sheltered outdoor space overlooking the back of the house.
The house was designed by a Canadian civil engineer with the assistance of a French architect. It was built by P&S Construction, the best builder in Phnom Penh with Australian companies putting in the plumbing (CPS) and electrical (RJ Services, now TEAM) to international standards. We are offering it as a premium long-term rental.
The house is on Street 386 is right in the middle of the block defined by Monivong, Mao Tse Tung, the “Black Sea” drainage canal and Street 360. We’re in the middle of Street 386, which makes us right in the middle of this block, 3 streets in from either St. 360 or Mao Tse Tung. This makes the area quite quiet and laid back, while offering easy access to the rest of the city.
This unique first-time rental is offered at $3,500/month, with three months deposit and quarterly payments. For family living only, no restaurant or office use. Contact Voleak at 077-777-680 to arrange for a viewing or e-mail voleak66 [at] gmail [dot] com