Paul Stewart

Cool Crush

Vann Molyvann's National Theatre, Phnom Penh.

Former National Theatre, Phnom Penh

Opened officially in 1968 as the Grand Théâtre Preah Bat Norodom Suramarit. The Bassac Theatre as it became known was built on the reclaimed banks of the Tonlé Bassac river during a golden era of construction in Phnom Penh led by chief architect Vann Molyvann under the stewardship of His Majesty King Sihanouk.

Grand Théâtre Preah Bat Norodom Suramarit - Wikipedia

Grand Théâtre Preah Bat Norodom Suramarit – Wikipedia

Built to resemble a ship from the exterior, the interior offered an immense stage and superb acoustics for the artists hosting many musical, dance and even acrobatic events. In an era before air conditioning the theatre was positioned and designed, as with all works by Vann Molyvann, to ventilate naturally through the course of the day and evenings.

Disappearing Legacy by Design

Post Pol Pot there was an extensive renovation project in place but in 1994 a fire destroyed much of the auditorium. Uninsured and despite a number of attempts to raise money and fully restore the theatre it remained a shell and was finally demolished in 2008.

 More on the theatre here on Wikipedia

Sangkat Tonle Basak, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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