BLOOM transforms former garment factory into new community hub in cambodia
 

BLOOM transforms former garment factory into new community hub in cambodia

BLOOM coordinated the refurbishment of five acres of garment factories from the 60s to be converted into a new social hub in the city of phnom penh, cambodia. the new center houses cultural event spaces, cafés and offices for the people of the city to enjoy and interact. the project was based on a five-year lease, so the investment had to be cost efficient and the construction took only three months. 

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BLOOM took the found industrial space, which intentionally felt like a blank canvas, and adapted it to its user’s personal expression, creativity and networking. the objective was to retain the look and feel of a shed that the structure inherently possessed, yet create more open spaces with a connected distribution. the result is large, open-floor plan areas that are flexible for any event or meeting, yet remain useful for all of them.

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adding another design layer to the industrial aesthetic, would have been an injustice to the potential of existing elements. hence, BLOOM decided to expose the existing exquisite hardwood structure and play with the aesthetic of the cement floor to express the spatial qualities of the main shed. the material palette is based on neutral industrial materials such as concrete, cement blocks, cement tiles and corrugated steel sheets, crafted in a bespoke manner. 

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some furniture and windows are made locally in wood to complement the solid hardwood structures. the entire project is based on the freedom users seek for in a space that adapts to their needs. in cambodia, repurposing an industrial space of that scale was uncommon. therefore, BLOOM’s strategy was based on preservation of the existing structure while also providing a newer language to place them in. 

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BLOOM’s design covers the functional needs of the space and emphasizes the DNA of the found space to turn it into a makerspace. to fit the modest budget, the architects redefined the purpose of industrial building spaces to know what to convert them into. for instance, the sewing hall was repurposed for a coworking space due to its size. since the existing roof allowed the space under it to be naturally lit and ventilated, it was used for housing the common areas. 

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this left only a cluster of smaller office and quiet rooms in the café which would then have air conditioning. by creating adaptable yet inexpensive spaces, the designers allowed for uses which would otherwise be difficult to create in a more standardized space. unlike BLOOM’s previous works, this was a hands-on project where they largely required to work on site and in hand with the local contractors in order to build something unique within a tight timeframe. 

 

 

the project stands as a reference for the cambodian youth to invent a new, creative future within old buildings. it is an unstandardized space which had every single detail solved on site by the architects. BLOOM aims for the project to inspire its users to invent within its spaces an understanding of innovative spaces, while they enjoy the freedom and possibilities that the open setup of the factory offers them.

 

 

project info:

 

architecture firm: BLOOM

project type: factory renovation

location: phnom penh, cambodia

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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