Renovation, under construction
“It would be sacrilege to merely redecorate it—a word I hate. It must be restored,
and that has nothing to do with decoration. That is a question of scholarship.”
— Jackie Onassis —
Central Mansions Interiors
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Renovation, Under construction
To qualify and renew the guest experience within Colonial Mansion, the first step was
define a narrative celebrating glorious event of the past, the meeting of the glorious new
Cambodian culture embodied by King Norodom Sihanouk and the intellectual west
symbolized by Jackie Onassis Kennedy.
CM2 would tie the colonial style of CM1 but in a slightly more modern approach, while
avoiding the potential issues inherent to this space.
In November 1967, Jackie Onassis fulfilled her “lifelong dream” of visiting the ancient ruins of Angkor.
For 5 days Ms Onassis banqueted surrounded by local dignitaries, admired Cambodian craft and culture and was treated to live renditions of Prince Sihanouk’s original jazz compositions.
According to many scholars Prince Sihanouk invited Ms Onassis to Cambodia in a bid to ease political tensions between Cambodia and the United states, and her journey was the first that started those relations.
As a nod to this, the interiors of Central Mansion draws inspiration from Ms Onassis and her visit to Cambodia. It references her chic and understated style and revels in the dichotomies of beauty – dark and light, refined and robust, classic and contemporary. By combining a restrained palette of white, greys and neutral tones with luxurious materials such as marble, stone, wood and brass, the intention is to create a harmonious yet homely space that not only embodies Ms Onassis’s spirit, but is a home for which she herself would want to live in.
In collaboration with Nataly Lee / Saart Studio
Team: Antoine Meinnel, Cristina Toran, Antoine Contour, Ny Kechseang, Prak Chantha, Bun Srey Thida