Genealogy of Bassac Project Featured in Cambodia Daily Newspaper


A young resident of the White Building. Image: Aria Danaparamita/The Cambodia Daily

The Genealogy of Bassac project, led by architect Pen Sereypagna which he launched in October with support from Sa Sa Art Projects and the Parsons, is featured in The Cambodia Daily, Cambodia’s national daily newspaper. The project’s aim is to collect oral histories about the White Building and its neighborhood, documenting architectural changes in the Tonle Bassac area from the 1920s to the present. This January, three Parsons students assisted with this research. The project addresses three key components architecture: the building’s structure, how the building has been used and how the building interacts with its environment.

The White Building is considered by many architects and historians to be an exemplar of the New Khmer Architecture style, which flourished in the 1960s. However, its current condition is much altered, and municipal authorities scheduled the complex for demolition in September, 2014. Strong protests from residents, preservationists, and many others persuaded officials to change course, however, giving the Genealogy of Bassac project more time to conduct their vital research.