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ACE - The floating origami

"The entire equipment is protected by a large roof covered by hyacinth leaves with a bamboo structure folded like an origami"

Client / Client: Eleven Magazine
Location / Place: Tonle Sape Lake, Cambodia
Area / Surface: 2200sqm / 2200m²
Year / Year: 2015
Cooperation / Collaboration: ---
Status / Status: Competition / Concours

"The Floating Origami" project is a new social and cultural facility for the people living around and on the Tonle Sap lake.

The lake area changes according to the seasons. During the dry season it occupies an area of ​​2700km² and during the wet season it reaches 16000km², with a depth that can go from 1.5m to 8.5m.


By studying the geography, the morphology, the ethnics groups and the road structure around the lake, we established the best location. According to this analysis we concluded that the best area to locate the project lies in the southern part of the lake, near the town of Krakor (about 6 km), in a floating village located halfway between the lake and the city.


Despite the apparent randomness of the village structure, it turns out that all the houses are organized according to a North South axis. Therefore, it is in the same axis that we decided to anchor the floating structure, at the village border to make it accessible by the maximum of ethnics groups and villages of Tonle Sap Lake.

The equipment is a succession of small independent structures which have the same morphology and colors than the village houses. Each volume has a specific function. The blue volume is a medical house to monitor the populations and serve as secondary hospital. The yellow volume hosts an educational hub as it is necessary to raise awareness to the danger related to the lake water use and learn how to improve their living conditions with some basic rules. The green volume is a research building that will allow researchers to study the characteristics of the lake and the evolution of its fauna and flora.


The project is completed with a kitchen and a vegetable garden to allow different ethnic groups to learn and exchange through cooking and food tasting. This function is in the red volume which also has a technical space including the energy generators and sanitary. A large covered central square is added and will become a meeting point appropriable by the different populations. The square will accommodate any kind of events, such as festivals, an open-air cinema etc ... Finally, to create a landmark and allow the equipment to be seen from far away, we have placed an observatory deck above the research building overlooking the entire village and the lake.



The entire equipment is protected by a large roof covered by hyacinth leaves (a local species widespread around the lake) with a bamboo structure folded like an origami depending of the different height of the buildings below. This large roof plays with transparency effects through photovoltaic glass panels bringing natural light to the platform and producing also a sustainable energy for the project.

The equipment was designed in a simple way in order to respect its context and surroundings and to allow populations to improve their living conditions.

Although the project has been implemented in this specific area of the lake, it could be moved to any other location according to special needs. "The Floating Origami" will be a social and cultural infrastructure for all populations of the Tonle Sap lake.

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