Siem Reap, Cambodia, 2016

Principals: Andrea Di Stefano | Design team: Salvo Pappalardo, Salvo Mezzasalma

As the Khmer name Vivottuk suggests, the research ambition is to involve architectural processes in the water cycle, from building technology to programmatic organization and to the life that will animate the place. The project will aim at a integrating a contemporary architectural program such as that of a tourist resort with traditional Khmer construction techniques, farming devices and other low-tech natural treatment plants that are widely spread in Cambodia.

The idea is to make use of traditional Khmer landscaping knowhow in order to develop an architecture that makes intelligent use of natural and cultural resources. Reed-beds, filtering canals and ponds for wastewater treatment, compost and sewage metabolizer for fertilizer and gas production as well as hydroponic s, aquaponics or fish farming are among the artificial ecosystems that will be studied, adapted and optimized in order to maximize the environmental interactions of a new resort to be built in the landscape surrounding the city of Siem Reap.

Such artificial ecosystems will help fostering a broader concept of ecology that involves the traditional cultural and socio-economical realm through the use and the optimization of local farmers and fishermen knowhow for the production of [i] construction materials for the maintenance of the construction itself, [ii] edible products for the sustenance of the resort staff and users, [iii] gas for cooking and heating water [iv] usable and drinkable water from the treatment of wastewaters.

Eventually the project will represent a new model for ecological tourist developments that cope with sensitive environments, such as that at the intersection between the Tonle Sap biosphere, the Angkor Archaeological Park and the Siem Reap poor and yet to-be-preserved traditional Khmer agricultural community.

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