The Angkor Stretch is the new corporate headquarters of a popular brewer and beverage producer in Cambodia. It is meant to fulfill the company’s objective to regroup through a ‘one-stop campus’ for operations, warehousing, branding and facilities, includes housing their expatriate personnel. It should therefore relate and addresses the surrounding context, the public realm, apart from fulfilling the desired spatial program and capacity.
Fundamentally, the campus integration consists of The Corporate Office Block, The Events + Tavern Annex, Accommodation + Staff Recreation Block and Transitional Warehouses + Vehicle Depot Zone.
Strategically positioned along the bustling Russian Boulevard and restricted by aviation guidelines, it is zoned and spread out in a lateral format, segregated in zones but visually communicated by voids and atriums, physically linked through bridges and ramps within the unifying envelope. The Angkor Stretch lies low and elongated in a modest fashion, relates to the axis of all vehicular movements including flight paths.
In essence, the 3 main façade blocks are all linked in a linear manner, hugging the Central Garden like a boomerang, with the buffer green lung between the Warehouses and the Vehicle Depot and as an event space, recreational and event space all within the oasis of the complex. It is planted with tropical trees and envisaged to be matured in 2 years.
On ground level, a more transparent and open approach of glass box, plaza and concourse addresses the Russian Boulevard. This is where the lobby, historical gallery and the Angkor Foundation are, allows staging of events, launches, exhibitions or art related programs as supported by the foundation. This contrasts and lifts the pure and abstract distorted form of the elongated façade.
The Events/Tavern annex at the topmost end of the stretch, is linked to the rooftop bar enables the staging of simultaneous activities vertically. This zone is greeted with a huge void punctuated within the façade, aesthetically welcoming to any visitors to the Tavern or any ongoing events, avoiding any trespassing into the office proper.
Due to the mix-use characteristics of this campus, a well-coordinated 2-zone traffic circulation ensures operation efficiency but avoid intersecting or collision. Heavy and civilian vehicles circulate in 2 different loops to ensure efficiency and smooth travel.
The sculptural façade is made up of solid perforated aluminium blades, forms the abstract metaphor of the ‘heavenly sky’ which the 5 famous pinnacles of the Angkor Temple upholds. This rhythmic approach of blades pays respect to the perpetual swell of traffic, sound and motion without dwarfing ground activities nor pedestrians and street hawkers at a scale which may alienates.
On both ends, zincalume sheets were applied to address neighboring small industries which produce some undesirable emissions.
The rotatable blades pin vertically to preserve its floating effect, are skewed to the desired polygonal plane to the desired amount of sunlight penetration and noise filtration. The huge roof overhang shades it. Rainwater runoff at every block is channelled to Rain Water Harvesting Tanks to be recycled to water trees and plants and to be filtered to wash the trucks.
Without compromising to context, planning and details, the Angkor Stretch blends into the current setting naturally and seamlessly without adverse distraction and unnecessary confrontation.
KKNG architect believes design + implementation through architecture is a form of intervention to every existing unique situation. A good solution will impact end-users within a building + affecting the macro-situation favorably. The fruition of it can be drawn from a variety of factors from arts, the micro-macro climate, historical qualities + the daily behavioural pattern. Correct understanding, awareness + communication is key to crystallize an idea to ensure all works are contextual + about possibilities. Incepted in 2002 by Keat, Ng as a temporary platform to address random experimental thoughts while consulting a variety of design outfits, he returned to Kuala Lumpur in 2009 after a long stint with OMA + CCDI. In 2011, he was recognized as a 30under40 emerging Malaysian architect. He exhibited at the 2012 + 2014 Venice Biennale. He is an external critic to UTM since 2012 + was a mentor for a program in University Malaya.