The White building in Phnom Pehn was home to hundreds of families, and although the building had seen better days in terms of its structural qualities, it had remained an iconic architectural feature of Cambodia’s capital city.
The city is undergoing huge change with high rise developments popping up almost over night, every night.
Built as an experiment in low-cost social housing for the capital, the White Building has been sitting in the heart of Phnom Penh since the 1960s. It was emptied along with the rest of the city during the Khmer Rouge regime. As people returned to the city, some people returned to the white building and other new residents moved in. The community was colorful and vibrant, home to low paid civil servants, street traders and artists.
The architecture was unique, inspired b the Khmer rural way of life which incorporated shaded and open living areas to maximize air flow and cooling.
In 2016 when I visited, it fate was in doubt, as the government had deemed the structure unsafe. Conservationists in favor of keeping he building argued that it was an iconic architectural building that should be preserved. By summer 2018, however, he building had been emptied of residents to make wa for demolition and a new development.
Below are links to Phnom Pehn Post articles about the White Building