The residential development rising into existence on the far side of the Tonle Sap and adjacent to the Japanese Bridge is called Bellevue Apartments, 17 stories tall including the penthouse, with 147 units of one, two and three bedroom units scheduled for completion between April and June next year.
According to architect and Deputy Team Leader Sim Sitho, the project is being developed jointly between Ohnha Ieng Sothera and Japanese investors. The development team is called Harakawa.
An interesting feature of the project is the commitment to green vines covering much of the building with built-in irrigation systems.
Sim says the idea of the plant life up the sides of the building is to provide a natural feeling of greenery both for the guests and residents around Phnom Penh.
“We will have the flower pots every six on 10 metres and we will have vines growing up every floor. The benefit of the vines is that they are very aesthetic and they relate the building to the environment.
Some of the buildings around are only two stories, so the green will make it better for the environment and for our neighbours.”
“The owners of the building will take care of the plants,” Sim said.
The first floor of Bellevue Apartments will have tennis courts, a gym, a kid’s playroom, a function room and a swimming pool.
“From the second floor up to 16th floor are mostly apartments,” Sim said.
“On the 11th floor of tower A we have a roof garden with barbecue corner and tenants can share the all the green space. The penthouse in Tower B in the rear goes up 17 floors and has a garden and library.
"The whole building has about 35,000 square metres of usable space, including parking and the roof garden, Sim says.
“We're targeting serviced apartments for expats and we want to combine the apartments with greenery.
"For the Mezzanine level, we are trying to make it VIP or luxury. The price is not really fixed yet.
“The site has good breeze and we have a green concept. The view to the west is the river and sunset view. We try to get all the apartments with the same excellent view,” she said.
One of the interior designers on the project is Bronwyn Blue of Beyond Interiors.
“We are trying to make calm, soft interiors and are working on a mock-up room. We are trying to make it as simple as possible,” Sim said.
“For the building accessories, we are trying to put in high standards. Our air-conditioners are the Japanese Daiken brand which are very high quality. Our elevators are Schindler brand.
In addition to her work on Bellevue Apartments, Sim also volunteers her time for an organisation called Space for Architecture.
“We give tours to go around and see the old buildings, and we collect the money from that and we use the money to pay for the website and the flyers. We pay for the lectures and we do some documentation for the old buildings.”
“I’m the researcher and the guide for the team,” Sim said. “We are a not for profit team. We share our spare time and we hope that we can get more knowledge and spread this knowledge for the next generation.” The group’s website is www.spaceforarchitecture.com.