Koh Kong, a peninsula in the Gulf of Thailand and part of Cambodia’s 450-kilometre coastline, features a number of closely interrelated ecosystems. Expansive mangrove forests carve out small islands, waterways, and ecologically diverse estuaries along the coast, creating a vital and fragile ecosystem which local communities rely on for their livelihoods. In recent decades, economic development in the country, characterized by widespread natural resource exploitation, has devastated Koh Kong’s wildlife and has marginalized local communities from the forests, fisheries, and arable areas which they need to live and thrive.
▼项目概览，overall of the project © Denis Amirtharaj
▼由草地看海滩上的茅草小屋，viewing the thatch lodges from the meadow © Denis Amirtharaj
Koh Kong Mangrove Lodging provides an alternative model of development, one that is rooted in the preservation of Koh Kong’s natural resources and promotion of community resilience. Perched on white sandy beaches, thatch lodges combine traditional piling techniques used in surrounding floating villages with a minimalist open-air design to create an elevated vantage point for local communities and travellers to enjoy Koh Kong’s clear blue waters and coastal breeze. Oriented along the main ocean-land wind direction to maximize airflow, the interior of the structure remains cool and ventilated during the hot season. Protected by a grove of trees, a central radial structure connects the lodges to a sand pathway.
▼一系列茅草小屋坐落在白色的沙滩上，a series of thatch lodges sit on a white-sand beach © Denis Amirtharaj
▼小屋的设计结合了传统打桩技术与极简主义，the lodges‘ design combines traditional piling techniques with minimalism © Denis Amirtharaj
▼小屋细部，detail of the lodges © Denis Amirtharaj
热带降雨和不断变化的潮汐使海滩地形不断地变化，因此小屋需要采用灵活耐用的建筑材料建造。小屋的主要结构选用了大量当地天然材料，包括槟榔树（Areca Catechu），这是一种在亚洲广泛种植的棕榈树种之一，树干细长且单一，此外，还采用了马来西亚甜龙竹(Dendrocalamus Asper)。虽然在当地有大量这种能够快速再生的材料，但是这些材料在该地区很少用于永久性建筑。
Tropical rainfalls and changing tides result in an ever-shifting beach topography necessitating the use of flexible and durable building materials. An extensive palette of locally sourced natural materials including betel nut palm (Areca Catechu), a slender single palm tree widely cultivated in Asia, and giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus Asper), were chosen for the main structure. While widely available, these fast-growing, renewable materials are rarely used in the region for permanent structures.
▼场地中心呈放射状的凉亭结构，the radial pavilion structure in the center of the site © Denis Amirtharaj
▼凉亭结构，the radial pavilion structure © Denis Amirtharaj
▼凉亭内部空间，under the radial pavilion structure © Denis Amirtharaj
▼小屋的设计采用了简单的几何形状，以便在施工过程中进行多次搭建试验，Simple geometries were selected for the lodges to provide more opportunities for experimentation © Denis Amirtharaj
▼小屋近景，closer view of the lodge © Denis Amirtharaj
Simple geometries were selected for the lodges to provide more opportunities for experimentation during the construction process. The use of a saltwater immersion treatment was needed to preserve and protect the bamboo. Workshops were held with the local construction teams to test out building solutions using different treatments, material connections, and finishes tailored for the topography and conditions of each lodge. The sustainable techniques garnered during this process have continued to be used by local communities, providing fortification against environmental degradation and resource exploitation in the future. This sustainable community-driven approach is at the heart of our design process.
▼内部空间概览，overall of the interior © Denis Amirtharaj
the lodge is oriented towards the sea for best views and natural ventilation © Denis Amirtharaj
▼当地工匠与居民的参与，participation of local artisans and residents © Denis Amirtharaj
Our localized design solutions respect and respond to the environmental and social contexts where we work. In Koh Kong, we worked closely with local communities who are still overcoming the impacts of devastating environmental degradation from unsustainable development practices. To ensure the meaningful inclusion of community needs throughout the project, local fisherman and construction workers were engaged in the design process from the beginning to exchange knowledge on locally available building materials and low impact, culturally appropriate construction techniques. Through this localised approach, Estudio Cavernas was able to sustainably build a space where local communities can enjoy Koh Kong’s diverse ecosystems which will continue to flourish.
▼黄昏中的小屋，dusk views © Denis Amirtharaj
▼夜景，night view © Denis Amirtharaj
▼总平面图，master © Estudio Cavernas
▼竹编凉亭平面图，plan of the interlaced bamboo pavilion © Estudio Cavernas
▼竹编凉亭剖面图，section of the interlaced bamboo pavilion © Estudio Cavernas
▼小屋平面图，plan of the p-structure lodge © Estudio Cavernas
▼剖面图，section of the p-structure lodge © Estudio Cavernas
▼剖面图，section of the A-structure lodge © Estudio Cavernas