Designed and managed by Architect Geoff Pyle in Cambodia (under Pyle Architects), the project added 2,500m2 of additional internal floor space to the existing Royal University of Phnom Penh's library, as well as providing a new main entrance.
Built on three levels, it houses reading and study areas, seminar rooms, teaching spaces and special collections as well as book stacks.
The project was funded by a grant from the World Bank as part of the Cambodia Education Sector Support Project.
Designed around existing mature trees, the building provides a range of shaded external spaces for students to meet and work. Each internal space is designed to have views of the trees through large areas of glass, protected from direct sun by louvred screens. To keep operating costs to a minimum, most of the building is naturally ventilated and glazing is designed to minimise the need for electric lighting.
Many materials were sourced locally and designed to be low maintenance; floors are finished in in-situ terrazzo and metal-work was fabricated near-by or on site. Light fittings were sourced from Germany, to ensure a high quality working environment on grey days or in the evenings. Completed in 2011, this project has won "Best International Project" in the much acclaimed Sustain Awards 2012 (Awarded 20th March 2012). The Sustain Awards for Sustainability, Business & the Built Environment celebrate the high hopes and hard work, commitment and creativity, radicalism and rigour of all those achieving distinction and success in the field of Sustainability.