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04-Jan-2018 16:37

Also alarmed by the disappearance of traditional wooden architecture in the country, the center put traditional homes and buildings as one of its research priorities in 2001 and obtained funding to pursue the project this month, said Francois Tainturier, deputy director of the center, which is based in Siem Reap.The result of Hok Sokol’s own study, plus work done at the center last year is exhibited at the French Cultural Center through Feb 7.Architecture in Battambang province reflects a past that included being part of Thailand for more than a century.People in the area assimilated Thai style into Cambodian traditional designs, creating their own distinctive style in the process, Hok Sokol said.

Last year, he joined the Center for Khmer Studies as co-leader of a three-year study program funded by the Rockefeller Foundation in the US.Now, a whole aspect of Cambodian traditional life may be erased again.“I’m worried that Khmer houses will be destroyed by time and new styles,” said Hok Sokol, an architect and urban planner.“If we don’t do research and document them in books soon, all these houses will disappear from Cambodia,” he said.Photos and models built to scale show the most frequent styles of houses according to a research done by Khmer builders in 1955 and later translated in French, Hok Sokol said.

Earlier, some French researchers had also broached the subject in studies on Cambodian life, he said.One of these styles, “phteas” Khmer, has virtually vanished.

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