Under Threat: Phnom Penh┤s Akkear Sor (The White Building)
by Lu Banhap, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 1963
Akkear Sor (The White Building), build in 1963 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is now facing unexpected future. This monumental building, was designed by Lu Banhap, one of the leading Cambodian architects during nearly twenty years (1955-1970) of newly independents country cultural renaissance. The architect was one of the pioneers of prominent architectural style combining both European Modern Movement and vernacular Khmer influences. The style was later named New Khmer Architecture and until this date its influence is clearly visible in modern Cambodia. This enormous building, drawing visible inspiration from Le Corbusiers Ville Radiuese project (1924), is a prime example of Cambodian Modern Movement from 1960┬┤s and bears a high international value, not only for its monumental scale and pioneering use of reinforced concrete but also for being bolt attempt to deal with newly independents country problem of social housing. Regrettably, after years of general disintegration caused by lack of proper maintenance and increasing strain due to inhabitant overload, Akkear Sor is now under threat of further demolition. The major danger to the buildings integrity comes from the over-population resulting in aforementioned strain to its structure. Furthermore, large crack through the southern part of the building, probably caused by the construction of eleven-storey hotel conducted nearby, was reported in July 2015. The condition of the building is alarming and requires immediate governmental intervention.