agriculture center in cambodia uses earth bricks, clay and bamboo for natural ventilation

agriculture center in cambodia uses earth bricks, clay and bamboo for natural ventilation

a new community agriculture & technology center has launched in krong samraong, cambodia, designed as a collaboration between squire & partners and SAWA for the green shoots foundation. built by local contractors, farmers and 16-25-year-olds over a four-month period — assisted by volunteers from the UK — the development provides education in agricultural technologies to support children and adults in the local community and facilitates opportunities for enterprise.

squire & partners + SAWA build an argiculture & technology center in cambodia designboom
walls have been constructed using block made from local earth and other local resources including rice husks



masterplan elements are designed to be responsive to the tropical climate – with raised floors to negate flood risk, screens to diffuse sunlight whilst providing ventilation, and overhanging roof eaves for the rainy season – as well as utilizing local resources, labor, and skills. the main structure provides a multi-use hall with office and storage spaces, and a full width screened veranda. within a robust rectangular steel frame, the primary building materials comprise bricks made on site from stabilized earth, rice husk/clay blocks, and bamboo screens. cassava and sand plaster is used to render walls, created in collaboration with local organic farm organikh.

a raised plant bed follows the building perimeter, growing native plants such as cucumber and long beans



internally, a cast entrance ramp with bamboo imprints leads to a flexible screened veranda space with built-in countertops used for workshops or as pop up shops for local producers. office and storage provide separation between the social veranda, and two generous classrooms set either side of a central hallway. woven grass screens, made by a local women’s cooperative, can be lowered to define the two rooms or rolled up to create one large gathering space. grass mats are also used as blinds and ceiling canopies, while local bamboo fisherman’s baskets were re-purposed as lampshades.

local co-operatives of women created traditional woven mats used as room dividers, ceiling canopies and blinds



smaller outbuildings provide a block making shelter, biogas-toilet with a reciprocal spiral bamboo roof topped by a repurposed metal drum rooflight, a thatched chicken roosting house, water catchment and filtration system, and a curved lattice split bamboo tunnel planted with native plants such as cucumbers and long beans. hand painted stone signs in khmer and english identify each building within the site.

a latticed brick pattern combined with woven bamboo screens provides shading from the sun and ventilation


squire & partners + SAWA build an argiculture & technology center in cambodia designboom
local producers use a built-in countertop as a pop up shop in the building’s reception space


traditional bamboo baskets used by local fishermen were re-purposed as lampshades


a wide roof canopy draws heavy rainfall away from the building edge


the entrance ramp leads through the social reception space into the classrooms to the rear


squire & partners + SAWA build an argiculture & technology center in cambodia designboom
hand-painted signage in khmer and english identify each building around the site


the teaching space can be divided into two classrooms by lowering woven mat screens, or used as one large hall


the robust steel frame is softened by using tactile local materials such as earth blocks and bamboo screens


a bamboo arch used as a growing structure for native plants signals the entrance to the agriculture & technology centre


project info:


architects: squire & partners + SAWA

location: krong samraong, 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: maria erman | designboom

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