Central Bank Branch in Sihanoukville, left, Staff Housing, right. Vann Molyvann, 1968.
Sihanoukville, planned (if not executed) by Vann Molyvann, is also home to two of his better works. Perhaps because of their distance from the better known buildings in
Because the paper notes for Cambodian Currency were made in
The most striking element of the bank is the huge roof top pergola, a sculpted form made from reinforced concrete. From the ground it looks like it is the roof of a set back upper story but in fact, characteristic of New Khmer, it is raised off of the actual roof of the building, protecting it from the sun and providing a shaded outdoor space accessible from the top floor. It is most probably the largest example of this kind of pergola in the country.
The bank is actually part of a complex of houses and apartments for bank workers. Here again we see Vann Molyvann incorporating traditional Khmer ways of living in a modern home. The exterior brick wall breaks down to become a screen where there is an interior courtyard. The expressive roof form slopes to a gutter that runs along the centerline of the house.
If Architecture represents the triumph of man over wilderness, order over disorder, often it seems that in