Phnom Penh is undeniably Cambodia’s city of two tales. The two news stories (below) were published at about the same time, although in different media outlets. The first story takes on how a commercial, business-owned skyscraper, is doing well or not. The second story is about looking for more funding to erect a new iconic building.
In the Guardian, a hilarious headline: Inside Phnom Penh’s empty new skyscraper: ‘This is only for excellencies’. The author, Poppy McPherson, went in great length to question The Vattanac Capital tower, which was described as “the tallest building in one of the world’s poorest countries – has an occupancy rate below 30%. Customers at its high-end boutiques are likely to be ‘excellencies’, members of Cambodia’s ultra-rich elite of business tycoons and MPs. So, what is the point of such a building?”
The other story, in the Phnom Penh Post, Harriet Fitch Little wrote “Big task ahead for Sleuk Rith genocide centre”.
According to estimates made by US-based consultant company Beacon Fire, the project currently appears to need somewhere in the region of $40 million, although Youk said he believed some of their costings to be excessive.
Dr Markus Zimmer, senior adviser to the institute and the man who originally reached out to Hadid, said that design efforts had been put on hold for approximately six months so that the focus could be on fundraising.