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Construction sector urged to modernise Kingdom’s heritage

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
A typical colonial building in Phnom Penh that is falling into disrepair. Ministers want them maintained. KT/Siv Channa

Maintaining old buildings is an opportunity for generating value for the Phnom Penh community, society and tourism sector, according to experts in the construction business.

The remarks were made in reply to the ever growing building boom in the Kingdom’s capital.

Vasu Poshyanandana, chairperson of Achitect’20, a Bangkok-based architect exposition, said that the conservation and maintenance of heritage sites is an opportunity to create new attractive buildings using modern technology and high-end materials. “The renovation of an old building is to create a new business opportunity and can generate value for the community and society,” Vasu said in a panel discussion held yesterday at the Palace Gate Hotel in Phnom Penh.

Rin Sina, director of Asia Point Investment and Development, echoed the same sentiment.

“Using high-end technology and materials that are now available for old buildings allows renovation to convert to new modern buildings while still maintaining their architectural heritage,” Sina said.

Cambodia’s construction has grown at a fanatic pace, especially in Phnom Penh, with new buildings, high-rises, malls, casinos, gated communities and high-end residences over the last two decades.

Ministers say Cambodia is an unexplored cultural wonder that offers the best authentic experiences for travellers. There are stunning colonial-era building many decades old, including Phnom Penh City Hall, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Sisowath High School.

The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts are currently working together to educate people on the colonial-era buildings to maintain their unique features.

In a workshop held last week, Chea Sophara, minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, called for new construction projects to be paired with Khmer-styled architecture to show national identity in the construction sector.

The 34th edition of the Architect Exposition will run from April 28 to May 3 in Bangkok, focusing on architectural heritage and conservation.

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