The above model shows a 1:5000 model of the Canadia Bank Tower and the Vattanac Tower looking down Russian Boulevard. While building the model the Urban Lab team talked about whether you can have a Cambodian Skyscraper? What would it look like? Would it fit with the city? Here are some of the thoughts and impressions from the discussion. What do YOU think? Can you have a Cambodian Skyscraper?

Cambodia people don’t want to live in skyscrapers they want to have gardens to relax.

Cambodians want to live close to the land. It is our culture.

The tall buildings now (Gold Tower, Canadia Tower, Vattanac Tower) do not fit with the city. They are not Cambodian

Cambodians want to live in houses and villas close to the ground, not in condos and apartments. Shophouse design came from the Chinese.

Skyscrapers come from Korea and China. They are not built by Cambodian companies.

A Cambodia skyscraper might look like the Olympic Stadium.

Phnom Penh will keep getting bigger because people do not want to live in tall buildings.

Cambodians like fresh air from the countryside. The air is not fresh in Phnom Penh.

More thoughts from the Phnom Penh community via Facebook!

“Phnom Penh will keep getting bigger because people do not want to live in tall buildings.” This is an interesting point- urban sprawl versus verticism. Is there a preferable option?

Totally agree! That’s how Cambodians roll! If you want to succeed in real estate, better learn more about Cambodians coz they are your potential customers. Failure is waiting for you, otherwise.

So we can mix the idea of having landscape on the skyscraper by let them stay on the high rise, when they open the door they still can see the landscape like they stay on the ground.

There will be, but not soon as Cambodian mind set still prefer to have property attach to land. To me skyscraper should be located in somewhere next to phnom penh not in center of phnom penh, as all the infrastructure of phnom penh wasn’t design for skyscraper or that much of population density at one point. To be honest I prefer phnom penh to have a new sub city where all infrastructure, greenery, water system have been thoughts and well design for present development and future development..

Personally, I strongly believe that Phnom Penh is facing serious problem in terms of urban sprawl.. skyscraper can be one of the good solutions towards high density in Phnom Penh.. More importantly, as the most popular trend of housing construction in Cambodia is shop house and it can be seen that the price of land increases rapidly because of that as well.. if Phnom Penh keeps extent its city area, our city will face a lot more problems such as heavy traffic congestion, low quality housing and ppl will have to spend extra money for transportation since Phnom penh is the main economic resource for many citizens.. sub city may be another solution. However, i think it takes time to develop a sub city that works for ppl.. it should be a long term solution. Furthermore, it is true that Cambodian prefer having own property which attach to land. However, if the price of the house and land keep increasing, not many ppl can afford them. therefore, if we as designer, could come up with win-win design strategies that do not only offer city dwellers with better living condition but also solve high density of city. That would be great.

Urban sprawl versus verticism”, a false dichotomy if I ever saw one. What PP mostly needs is oversight and planning, some zoning rules and an enforced building code (make LEED certification a minimum for large developments). PP has a unique chance of doing things right, but it isn’t happening because the people who have any say in this are only interested in making a quick buck. What else is new…