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Vann Molyvanns House

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Vann Molyvann's house in Phnom Penh was completed in 1966. The architect currently resides there.

Vann Molyvann's house is elegant and simple in plan and section, complex and exquisite in detail. The house is a fantastic example of an architect left to his own devices. The enthusiasm for detail recalls Paul Rudolph's apartment in New York or the John Soane house in London.


The roof is feat of engineering which required painstaking calculation by his engineer brother-in-law, Walter Amberg.

While the influence of the project seems to lean towards the oriental with concave domes characteristic of Japanese pagodas, Molyvann says he was inspired rather by the traditional jungle huts of Brazil and rural Cambodian thatched roof huts, "for ventilation purposes". Inside is very modern with a complex structure, while still maintaining traditional features - such as the ventilation in the roof, and the lighting. The roof is conceived of two concrete layers. On the second floor, bedrooms are labyrinthine, tucked around corners and slotting together like a puzzle.

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  1. World Heritage Watch
  2. Claire Knox
ziggurat, March 7th, 2013
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