As more and more building professionals become well established in Cambodia, providing the necessary skills for sustainable urban development for the transformation of Phnom Penh’s skyline, international organisations are partnering with them to further expand technical know-how.
Last week, Archetype Group became the first Cambodian representative for The Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) - a non-profit which hails from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Since 1969, CTBUH has aimed to provide information on tall buildings and sustainable urban developments. It is also the formal arbiter for the determining criteria of “The World’s Tallest Building.”
Michel Cassagnes, architectural design director for Archetype Cambodia, said that this partnership “[is] very timely considering the rapid growth in the building sector throughout Cambodia and the rise of tall buildings in Phnom Penh.”
“Archetype’s role is to promote CTBUH and the benefits of membership, and in reverse, to bring the technical resources and expertise from the CTBUH into the Kingdom,” he said, adding that this would be accomplished through networking events and technical presentations promoted in association with Eurocham’s Real Estate and Construction Committee.
In Cambodia, Archetype has already had a proven track record. The group has been involved in numerous projects across various sectors. Some of these include the TK Royal Tower, Victoria Angkor, La Residence d’ Angkor and the expansion of the international airport in Siem Reap. On the industrial side, the group has also worked on the Laurelton Diamond factory and the Crown factory.
“Archetype Cambodia is also the design centre for our work in Laos, which includes a food and safety laboratory in Vientiane and the Parasol Blanc Hotel in Luang Prabang,” said Cassagnes.
Outside of Cambodia, the group has been involved with the Mahanakon Tower in Bangkok, which, once completed, will be the tallest building in Thailand, as well as the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai and the Hanoi French Hospital in Vietnam.
Additionally, Archetype, which has 550 employees worldwide and has strategically expanded in 12 countries across Asia, was also chosen to represent CTBUH in Mongolia and Myanmar.
“This is because we could demonstrate our experience and knowledge about fast-moving markets, as well as having a strong portfolio in tall buildings in Southeast Asia,” he said.
While Cassagnes said that CTBUH’s interest in the Kingdom was spurred by market potential, considering that the tall buildings are just starting to emerge in Phnom Penh, he highlighted the trend of development towards Asia over the last 20 years.
“It is worth noting that before 2000, the tallest buildings in the world were located in North America – but that has now shifted to Asia and the Middle East and in 2020, it is predicted that most new tall buildings will be located in Asia,” he said.