Sep 09 2012
There’s something about corners in Phnom Penh. I’m prompted to make this post as one of my favourite corner buildings has disappeared. It was slowly crumbling, its tower drooping, beautifully evocative and the starting point for many imaginations, but now it’s gone.
I want to encourage you to walk around Phnom Penh with your eyes wide open — perhaps one on the pavement ahead of you is wise, but please raise your view to the spectacular, the odd and the beautifully decrepit. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but Phnom Penh’s architecture is so varied, there’s bound to be something that appeals.
It doesn’t take long to detect signs of the colonial Phnom Penh, but often tucked behind an enormous beer advert or home ‘improvements’. Just around the corner from this well preserved example is a rather hideous plastic Eiffel Tower shop sign, almost obscuring those lovely diagonals:
The climate isn’t always kind to buildings and materials, but damp and erosion can make for wonderful photos:
No corner collection would be complete without something from the When Planning Goes Bad school of architecture:
These rather wonderful examples were all discovered in a small area of Phnom Penh between Street 51, the Royal Palace and Phsar Chas. They make my mood rise a little every time I see them. If you’re an architecture lover, my advice is: Gather ye corners while ye may, Phnom Penh is swiftly changing.
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