Affordable Housing Competition 2018 – Cambodia

Sunny day

Rainy day

The house is primarily of type unit 0 of 17 m2 in two floors. The design is very compact but smart. It includes all the rooms needed for a single person or a couple as kitchen/dining room/ living room, separated bathroom and separated bedroom well isolated from weather conditions on the first floor. The ground floor is more permeable and air ventilated because of the cooking.

The project site in Cambodia is located on a very potential area, surrounded with water and fruitful land. This gives an opportunity for a settlement of a new generation of Cambodian people. The project design connects the site with the planned streets towards North and with the path on the other side of the river. This way the project area becomes a transit zone and an important mediator. The secondary streets follow this primary lines and continue until the smaller scale of a single unit. The design doesn’t ignore the surrounding. It respects it by making a strong bond with additional walkable street extensions where people can enjoy the river and forest. The rational mesh of units that hosts 3011 units of 4 types is enriched in certain points with public squares which are contributing to a local scale. Here the educational units are providing local education. Unifying circle breaks the orthogonality even more while infusing recreational running track line and sports activities like neighborhood football, volleyball, basket, … which is very important for a community health. The streets are female walking friendly, meaning are well sun lighted and on short distances are accessible to public spaces. They give a feeling of a safe environment, also for a mother with children and children alone. 

The rainwater is stored in water tanks under the house. The water for bathing is warmed on the roof and there could be located solar panels for electricity. New affordable housing development in Phnom Penh region should offer to people a domestic feeling of home.


The entire house is elevated for 1.2 m because of expecting the floods that are often scenario in Cambodia. Other units: unit 1, unit 2 and unit 3 are following the basic principles of unit 0. Unit 1 is for family and on the ground floor liberate a space for a small garden where people can practice agriculture and supply the family with primary crops. Unit 2 is reserved for groups, where they share the toilet and kitchen, but also have a unique bedroom. Unit 3 is planned for a person with a disability. This unit is only on the ground floor level and is accessed by a ramp that could be extended. 

Sara Simoska – main architect

Marta Stolevska – architect assistant

Flora Halimi – architect assistant

Organized by Building Trust International and United Nations Human Development Program