Young architect wins Cambodia’s Real Estate Personality of the Year award

The 2018 Cambodia Real Estate Personality of the Year award will be presented by the editors of PropertyGuru Property Report to an individual who has made significant contributions to the rapidly growing property and construction sectors in the country.

This year’s recipient is a young architect named Hun Chansan, founder, design director and principal architect of Re-Edge Architecture + Design. He has been chosen to receive the coveted special award for his efforts to raise the profile of Cambodian architects and designers in the global scene and inspiring them to build well-rounded and socially-conscious careers.

Hun, who holds a Master of Architecture degree from Northeastern University in Boston in the United States, implements in his design projects a concept that he developed in graduate school for his thesis called “Re-Edging Retails,” which is about creating designs to seamlessly bridge the language between a building and its physical and social environment.

Social catalysts who shape a city

“It was during my master’s degree education that I truly understood the career of an architect beyond just being a good designer. Architects play many important roles in developing a community – they are in a way social catalysts who help shape a neighbourhood and eventually a city,” he said.

Returning to his native Cambodia in 2009 after spending a decade and a half in the United States, Hun, who was only 32 at the time, quickly earned a reputation as a respected lecturer and guest professor at multiple universities in Phnom Penh. Two years later he would establish his Re-Edge Architecture + Design practice, employing 30 team members in 2018.

Now at 38 years old, Hun has become the face of a new generation of Cambodian architects and designers who want to make a difference in their country, regularly appearing in feature stories in local and regional media outfits such as Southeast Asia GLOBE and Channel News Asia, as speaker at conventions and seminars, as well as being named by several local firms and campaigns as one of “Cambodia’s rising stars.”

Khmer architecture movement

Like his role model, legendary architect Vann Molyvann – the man behind the new Khmer architecture movement during the 1960s – Hun aims to elevate the global reputation of Cambodian architects and designers, and give them due respect for their occupation, equal to how people regard doctors and lawyers. He also wants young practitioners to “push the envelope and create their own path to success.”

He said: “Winning the Cambodia Real Estate Personality of the Year award certainly gives me and my team strength, unity, a sense of pride and recognition beyond our daily life in the office and thus will further move us forward in producing the best architectural and design concepts for our local construction and real estate industries.”

The Re-Edge team celebrates the recognition for its latest project NORO Mall, developed by NI Development Co., Ltd. The multi-level retail property is up for three awards at the third annual PropertyGuru Cambodia Property Awards: Best Retail Architectural Design, Best Retail Interior Design, and Best Retail Landscape Architectural Design. Expected to be completed in 2019, NORO Mall has been designed to promote flexibility to accommodate various social activities, thus creating a sense of community.

Design to rethink social behaviour

Re-Edge has other projects with similar concepts. “In my practice we often spend our time thinking about public space proposals for the city such as night market, a riverfront park, etc. We hope that by doing extra we will one day push the public sector to rethink social behaviour for its people as our capital city grows even busier.”

Along with the shortlisted companies in the competitive categories and recipients of special awards, Hun will be honoured at the black-tie gala dinner of the PropertyGuru Cambodia Property Awards, presented by KHI, on Friday, 16 March 2018 at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra ballroom. More than 300 guests, including government VIPs and select members of the media, are expected to attend the exclusive ceremony.