Agricultural space, 1 000 sqm
The project was to plan the Atelier farm where they produce Kampot pepper and vegetable for the restaurant. The aim was to reflect and tribute the way the pepper is cultivated through a slow and grounded process which grants Kampot pepper the only PGI in the world for a pepper corn. Inspired by the concept of "Terroir", the project tries to be the sum of the local conditions and know how, a creation which could only be born from a specific geographical location. For this reason, a constrain was to use only materials available on the plot and its surrounding and also construction methods which do not require skilled workers so that the labor can be locally available. The wooden poles and the netting are recycled from an abandoned pepper plantation, the earth to from the walls and floor will be taken from the quarries behind.
Learning from the Land Art movement, this agricultural storage building stands like a conceptual pavilion inside of a pepper plantation. The building merges with the agricultural context and disappears within the rows of pepper poles. It is at the same blending seamlessly with the geometry of the peppers pole rows through the sole use of materials available inside the pepper farm, but at the same time do not resemble any surrounding construction apart from the pepper plantation themselves. Instead of looking like a traditional building, an effort was made to remove the view of architectural element (doors, windows, roof and so on...). The storage facility appears as an abstract series of rammed earth walls, while the agricultural netting, blending seamlessly with the surrounding plantations. A translucent corrugated roof allowing a filtered light to flood the space, with the choice to use natural ventilation in all the rooms, according to the season. Imperceptibly hidden between the rammed earth walls are all the functions of the agricultural building following a logical sequence, each room having their specific relationship to the exterior. Along both sides of the building runs two circulations, one for visitors and administration staff, the other one reserved for the farmers.
This project would be the first building using rammed earth as main component in Cambodia, in an attempt to show an alternative to widely available concrete, metal and wood. Due to the choice of materials, the building can be recycled at later stage in the event it is not needed anymore. The aim is also to tackle the need to think about territorial regeneration in Cambodia by emphasizing the horrendous effect of the earth quarries around the site, needed to build new roads, and researching the way to revert the process by showing how it could be possible in the future to use the soil for better purpose locally.
Antoine Meinnel / Bloom Architecture Co. Ltd.
Team: Antoine Meinnel, Lim Kong, Ith Sovannarith, Saniya Patel