Zaha Hadid has revealed plans for the new Sleuk Rith Institute, a Cambodian genocide research centre made up of five interwoven wooden towers.

Inspired by ancient Angkorian architecture, the towers range between three and eight storeys and feature a multitude of geometric forms incorporated into interconnected internal and external spaces.

The facility will house the archive of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, a non-profit organisation that chronicles the atrocities carried out during the Khmer Rouge period in the 1970s.

Also accommodated within the building will be a genocide research center, a museum, a graduate school, a media centre and an auditorium that can be used by the local community.

Constructed from sustainably sourced timber, the structure’s tapered form offers shade to the lower floors, while louvres will provide sun shading to the upper levels.

Other passive design elements include thermal buffer zones, a wastewater treatment system, solar panels and rooftop plant and air-system heat exchangers.

Visitors will access the elevated building via a raised causeway above reflective catchment pools, designed to protect the main building from seasonal flooding.

Zaha Hadid Architects worked with human rights activist and investigator of the Khmer Rouge atrocities, Youk Chhang, to design a building that would reflect Cambodia’s rich cultural history and redefine the traditional approach to commemorative architecture.   

The complex has already been granted planning approval and is due to start construction on the Phnom Penh site early next year.

Courtesy Arch Daily