Hong Kong S.A.R., China | 2021
The WaterHall, located in the Village S of Battambang in Cambodia, is a community hall that houses a pump and a filter system. Responding to the village’s unstable and contaminated water sources that resulted in rampant water scarcity and plastic waste pollution, the project provides readily accessible, clean and potable water for the local villagers, whilst creating a social hub to garner gatherings, celebrations and community festivities. The twin structures of the WaterHall complement and contrast each other in function and aesthetics. The round perforated forms welcome people under their roofs to mingle as they fetch water. Locally sourced and built with a community pained by the landmines that previously ravaged their lands during the Khmer Rouge era, the resulting infrastructure reimagines the open grounds of the village as a means of placemaking and community building by translating the vernacular to a contemporary language. OOA's visions of sustainability and communal recreation were brought to reality with scenes of the hearty assemblages of villagers on the Hall’s completed grounds, and the resolved plight brought on by the severe territorial drought in the year of its completion. Benefitting up to 110 families, the WaterHall has become a social hub for the villagers with hopes of inspiring similar projects across Asia. Demonstrating that the classification between a traditional design firm and an NGO is not rigid, OOA was actively involved in the fundraising, volunteer recruitment, design, construction, and more for the WaterHall as we shift towards being a multi-disciplinary organizing body.
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