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

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa