29 February 2012

The Bamboo has arrived!

Today we found that the bamboo had arrived! It is beautiful. The treatment pools are almost ready as well so we hope to have first batch in the pool by Friday. Chemicals were ordered today and tomorrow we'll begin with brushing the fungus and dirt of the bamboo trunks.

Peter and the workers had also started with the emptying of the site. The sewage water will first be pumped out of the pool and then then the vegetation removed. Today they built the machine for pumping the water. Also the kids from the village were really excited to see what was happening!

27 February 2012

Museum of Ethnology

Yesterday Elina and I had the honour to visit Dr. Michel Tranet and his family at their house. This is not just any house. It is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever visited. The atmosphere here is a combination of deep knowledge and respect for the Khmer culture and beauty. Mr. Tranet has had the house built for his family and his collection of historical Khmer artifacts. The house is not only a home but   also a 'Museum of Ethnology'. The house itself, built with wood and stone acts as an example of architecture built according to the local culture and climate. Thank you Michel and Khiang Hei!

We have a hole!

Today Elina and I were so happy when we arrived at the site to see a big pile of earth! The earth had come from digging a hole. The hole will be our bamboo treatment pool! So finally things got going at the site and we are starting to believe the building will actually become reality. During the site visit we also said our final goodbyes to the dirt in the pool as they will start pumping it out very soon. This is all very exciting!

25 February 2012

Startup at the site

On Friday we had the startup meeting at the building site which went well. After the meeting together with the contractor we marked the spots for the bamboo treatment pools which will be the first thing to be done at the site. The bamboos will arrive by Wednesday so hopefully the pools will be ready by then.

Our first bamboos were bought!

On Thursday we travelled once again to Kampong Cham province which Noora already visited some time ago to see and this time actually buy the first truck load of bamboo for the youth center. 

Handling practical matters in Phnom Penh

Elina's first days back in Phnom Penh were filled with handling different practical matters. First on Tuesday we opened a bank account for our project which turned out to be a bit more time consuming than we expected. When you go to a bank in Finland you usually get a waiting number, you wait for a while and then you get attended on by one person. This time it went somewhat different. Door was opened by smiling person, we were escorted upstairs by another and there we were attended on by at least five more. After having opened the account we were escorted upwards again and were attended on by four more people helping us to deposit money. Different kinds of original documents were needed and Elina also had to learn to do her signature exactly the way she did six years ago when she got her passport and signed it. It remains to be seen whether she ever manages to sign the withdrawal papers correctly or is our money lost forever.

21 February 2012

Join bamboo workshop on the KKYC site!

Learn to build out of bamboo in Cambodia!

Welcome to join the building works of Kouk Khleang Youth Center, designed by young architects and students from Aalto University in Finland. The main building materials of the center are ecological unfired earth bricks and bamboo.

A workshop on the bamboo structures with american bamboo expert Kevin Rowell will take place in Phnom Penh on 20.-31.3.2012, after which the construction with the bamboo structures will continue until the end of April. For more info on the possibility to study the bamboo structures on site, please contact inari.virkkala@gmail.com.

Hurrah! Signing the building contract for KKYC

Komitu is super happy to announce that the KKYC finally has a contractor! On Sunday 19.2. the buiding contract was signed by the cliens: Pen Somony fron CVS and Son Young from KKKHRDA and by the main contractor, Peter Khalid from the company Sadiq International.

KKYC Materials workshop

On Friday 17.9. we organized a workshop in Kouk Khleang to discuss the project with the locals and to familiarize everybody with the main materials for the Youth Center: UPDF unfired soil bricks and bamboo.  First we presented and discussed the project and the materials and afterwards built an example piece of the unfired bricks to be used for testing different plasters and paints.

14 February 2012

Building the sewage pool for Kouk Khleang in 2004

Miraculously Architect Meas Kim Seng had found pictures from his archives of the construction of the Sewage Pool in Phnom Penh. Great to see how the pool was built and to be able to design the foundations accordingly! And how quickly did the plants grow!


09 February 2012

Bamboo & Soil walls in Takeo Province

Bamboo in Takeo Province

Observations during the trip to Kambong Cham

Bamboo was used in many ways in buildings, but also in small home tools.

Bamboo bridge in Kampong Cham

Amazing bamboo bridge in Kampong Cham can stand even a car!
Bridge is done entirely from Khmer bamboo.

Khmer bamboo in Kroch Chhma

Second bamboo we saw was called Khmer bamboo. Khmer bamboo was nice, thick and straight, but the hole in the middle was possibly bigger. Kroch Chhmar on the map.

Chinese bamboo in Tmoa Pum Village

Visiting Kampong Cham Province with UPDF (urban poor development fund) and getting to know about possible bamboos for building the Youth center.

03 February 2012

Bamboo light effects


What might look compelety ordinary from the outside, can reveal it's true beauty in the inside. This happens in a hut made out of bamboo in the Chambok Village. Chambok is again a nice example of community based eco tourism (CBET) which we were happy to visit in a youth training organized by CVS.