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. 




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.




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. 




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. 




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. 




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

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,664 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample