The Colonial Style in Cambodia

The Colonial Style in Cambodia

The Colonial Style in Cambodia

The colonial style is apparent, but most of the buildings were designed with appropriate adaptations to fit in with the hot and humid climate.

/// Cambodia ///

Story: Virak Roeun

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The “Place de la Poste” Square with the Cambodia Post building in background
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Neoclassical features on the front façade of Cambodia Post Building

The French colonial style of architecture is apparent, but most of the buildings were designed with appropriate adaptations to fit in with the hot and humid climate. They included design features, décor ideas, and ornaments well suited for the local environment, examples of which are obvious on the façade of the Postal Service Building. Built in 1895, Cambodia Post showcases wooden louver windows and doors, high ceilings and solid brick walls designed to keep the heat out. Opposite it stands the former Hotel Manolis, where Monsieur André Malraux, a celebrated novelist and first minister of culture of France, stayed in the 1920s. Since 1979 it has become a private residence. The Cambodia Post building looks extraordinarily good on a grand scale, but the abandoned Central Police Commissariat nearby is probably more elaborate in design. Its exterior appears to be neglected, but inside, the corridors and the rooms are never directly exposed to the elements and the heat.

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The former Hotel Manolis exhibits an architectural style prevalent during the French colonial era.
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Terraced houses reminiscent of old-world Europe lie opposite the Manolis.
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An original wooden staircase inside the Manolis
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A room number plate stands the test of time at the former hotel Manolis.
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The former water tank of the hotel Manolis
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Original tile flooring at the Manolis tells a story of its long and arduous journey through time.
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Vendors set up shop in front of the abandoned Central Police Commissariat in Phnom Penh.
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Mirror images of design details are evident throughout this building from colonial era.
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The entrance to the former Bank of Indochina

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