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Mlop Children's Centre

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project no: 1010
location: Kandal Province, Cambodia
year: 2010-11
client: Safe Haven Children's Trust

The project is for a new child-care centre and children's home in Cambodia. We proposed a re-planning of the existing building, which gained a playroom for the daycare centre, and interventions in the grounds, including a new eating area, kitchen and learn/play pavilion in the garden.
A two year development strategy
was also put in place.
We were involved from early stages in the project and took inspiration from vernacular Khmer architecture we saw on research trips, as well as the needs of the local children the centre was to benefit. The learn/play pavilion stands under a mango tree and has a playful non-symmetry, the roof dips down to an off-centre column which creates a variety of child-scale spaces inside. It provides a airy semi-external space away from the harsh Cambodian sun, which can be used to stage performances, take afternoon naps or just as a play-space.
The main objective was to create a homely and positive environment throughout the centre, which would encourage the children to engage actively with their surroundings, to make spaces to which they could contribute over time. This was done using local materials and the small means available, to maximum effect.