Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Breaking: Architect Vann Molyvann dies in Siem Reap at 90

Breaking: Architect Vann Molyvann dies in Siem Reap at 90

Vann Molyvann in a scene from the documentary The Man Who Built Cambodia.
Vann Molyvann in a scene from the documentary The Man Who Built Cambodia. Photo supplied

Breaking: Architect Vann Molyvann dies in Siem Reap at 90

Renowned Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann has died at the age of 90 in his home in Siem Reap.

Molyvann’s assistant, Choung Chhoeun, confirmed the architectural great passed away today at 9:45am.

Molyvann was most famous for his designs in the 1950s and 1960s, often referred to as Cambodia’s “golden era”, including iconic structures like the Independence Monument, the Olympic Stadium, the National Theatre and the fan-shaped Chaktomuk Conference Hall hugging the banks of the Tonle Bassac River.

Cars, motorbikes and tuk-tuks drive around the Independence Monument at night.
Cars, motorbikes and tuk-tuks drive around the Independence Monument, which was designed by Vann Molyvann. Alexander Crook

The recently demolished White Building was also built as part of his project to beautify the Tonle Bassac riverfront area, though he did not design it himself.

Molyvann was born in 1926 to poor parents. He studied in Phnom Penh before receiving a government grant to study in Paris in 1946.

He began studying law but found his true calling studying architecture at celebrated arts school L’Ecole des Beaux Arts.

He returned to Cambodia to spearhead the construction of a series of remarkable civic structures following independence from the French in 1953, as part of the New Khmer Movement under the patronage of King Norodom Sihanouk.

Molyvann’s family is preparing to hold his funeral this week.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • First case of coronavirus reported in the Kingdom

    Cambodia reported its first case of the deadly 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Monday, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng announced. He said medical specialists detected the virus in a Chinese tourist in Sihanoukville. The minister said Jia Jianhua, 60, travelled from Wuhan city, where the outbreak

  • PM urges precaution amid virus outbreak

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday called on all Cambodians to bump up precautions to avoid contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has already killed more than 50 people in China. The prime minister told the public to remain calm but alert about the possibility of

  • Gov’t slams NGO over 2019 corruption report

    The government on Thursday slammed a report that described the Kingdom as highly corrupt. Government spokesperson Phay Siphan dismissed the latest Transparency International (TI) report as “just an advertisement of NGOs to promote their own interests”. Released on Thursday, the report puts Cambodia near the

  • NBC’s digital payments to go live in next few months

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) will launch a Blockchain-based, peer-to-peer payment and money transfer platform in the next few months, its director-general Chea Serey told The Post on Monday. Dubbed ‘Project Bakong’, the scheme already has the support of 11 banks, with many more expected

  • Gov’t answers garment buyers’ complaint

    Some of the biggest buyers in the Kingdom’s garment sector have urged Prime Minister Hun Sen to address issues faced by unions and workers – a request a senior official said was out of touch with the situation on the ground. The letter addressed to