‘The main concept is to put the mansion building at the core of the guests’ experience.’
The Foreign Correspondent Club Angkor, Siem Reap, 2019
FCC Angkor is an iconic boutique hotel in Siem reap, Cambodia, created in 2000 around the former French governor’s mansion, then transformed into a restaurant. While the original design from architect Gary Fell was a successful modern counterpoint to the mansion, its overall flow was unclear for the guest and it had major issue of privacy. Our mission was to modernize and extend the property based on the scheme from Gary Fell and to add a real sense of arrival for the guests.
The main concept is to put the mansion building at the core of the guests’ experience. As far as possible, we disconnected from the mansion all additional constructions in order to emphasize it as a unique historical remain and to create space to keep the magnificent vegetation.
On top of the overall reconfiguration of the property, a reception, a meeting room space and a bar are added, they are accessed from the mansion by a bridge which includes the existing trees. A new reception called the Sala, which is a thai term which relates to a self-standing guest pavilion, stands in the middle of a lush garden and provides to guests a sense of arrival. This space is then followed by a covered walkway leading the guest to a serene courtyard where all the rooms are grouped.
Our design is a continuation of both previous architectural interventions : the colonial Architecture of the Mansion and the tropical-modernism of Gary Fell. Discreet interventions will respect the DNA of the FCC property. The architecture is inspired by both previous interventions and is painted white to blend seamlessly. The identity of the new FCC is a juxtaposition of architectural periods leading to a contemporary Cambodian architecture. Each new elements (floors, window, handrail, ...) will be in noble local materials such as the white sandstone and Koki wood. This will bring a contemporary local touch, we want guests to experience the Cambodian environment through the materials.
In such a site, our ultimate aim was to create a balance between the architecture and the landscape. The gardens of the property are renovated with curated local species intensifying the green aspect of the site and emphasizing the calm aspect of its courtyards.
Antoine Meinnel / Bloom Architecture Co. Ltd.
Team: Antoine Meinnel, Antoine Contour, Pak Chantha, Peou Chinda, Heng Sereyvathana, Alexandre Auzenat (intern)