Home Within House






Home Within House

The affordable housing project of 3000 units for the low income workers and their families is located on the banks of Stoeng Prek Thnaot in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone(PPSEZ), Cambodia.


The design for 'Home within House' is derived from the four design principles - User comfort, Community living, Cost & Space efficiency and Sustainability.

By responding appropriately to the ecological context of the site and the requirements of factory workers, an extremely simple and aesthetically pleasing built environment is designed. The project can be constructed with a very less number of necessary components, making it cost effective. A composite of local clay bricks and concrete is used for construction. The orientation of the building blocks and the facade is in accordance with the local climate. In the minimal format every imperative details of each apartment and user comfort has been satisfied.

The project makes an optimum use of every square inch of the available area,  with most of the spaces being shared either functionally or visually, making the project space-efficient. For instance, the corridor leading to the apartments is also shared as a veranda overlooking at the open-to-sky courtyards, and similarly, on the other side, the boxing for recessed windows are shared as a storage cabinet.

The blocks are oriented to block East and west Sun. The courtyards, windows and ventilators aid passive cooling, cross ventilation and natural lighting, creating a comfortable micro-climate for each home. This in turn helps in reducing the operational energy cost, making the project sustainable.

Each home is part of a cluster, which is formed by the alternating pattern of voids and solids, ensuring courtyards on both the sides of each apartment.  The utility courtyard containing kitchen garden and the semi open verandas act as an extension to the entrance vestibule. On the other side, a band of green open space is the community courtyard, enjoyed by living areas of each apartment.

Semi-open collective facilities such as shops, bike parking, crèche, etc. are integrated at the end of each cluster. The campus is served by simple loop of streets and cycle tracks, interconnecting all the clusters, collective facilities and recreational grounds and converging at the riverfront, which has been developed as a public space with market.


The seamless integration of living spaces into the public and community spaces led to the development of a 'Home for the workers' within the 'House of their community'.


Winner Housing Design challenge 2018, Building International Trust, United Nations Development Programme - UNDP Cambodia, Phnom Penh SEZ