Monks Forest Guesthouse, Cambodia
Traditional Khmer house inspired ecological guest houses welcoming visitors to promote the protection of Bun Saluth's Monk Community Forest
Located within the Oddar Meanchey province in Northern Cambodia, the 18,261 hectares of forest land stands as an example of one Monk’s undying commitment to the conservation of the natural environment through Engaged Buddhism.
Bun Saluth, now having legal recognition as the guardian of this forest, wants to reach out to the global community and share his story and achievements to showcase and educate others on the beauty and importance of the natural environment.
Sharing this belief, SAWA was excited to aid Bun Saluth in realising his vision of a cultural hub in the heart of forest and manifest architecture that not only offers the spaces the monk community need to host and educate, but to stand as exemplar pieces of how design and construction can be in harmony with nature.
The proposal creates beautiful guest homes inspired by the sensitive and respectful daily rhythms of Buddhist through a hierarchy of spaces developed spatially through the rising and falling of flow within the homes.
The site is prone to flooding during the rainy season, which we saw as an opportunity in our design strategy. Through elevating the dwellings above the forest floor and providing access to the properties by foot in the dry season and boat in the wet season, the properties are accessible all year round and other a unique experience in different seasonal conditions.