Browsing Tag

Temples of Angkor

Cambodia, Destinations, Landscape Architecture, Musings

Preah Khan: Architecture Education Rising from Ruins

March 12, 2013

For the past nearly quarter of a century on the flip side of the planet from my Pacific Northwest nest, the World Monument Fund has been helping bring modern day workforce training opportunities to would-be architects, engineers, archaeologists, and artisans in the midst of a still-recovering country tangled in layers of civil war and jungle-eaten ruins. This is the story of the Preah Khan Project at Cambodia’s Angkor Temples.

I grew up in a land of peace and plentiful resources.

When landscape architecture wormed its way into my curious mind at age 14, I’d already squirreled away countless years of urban planning and city management experience (ahem, they’re releasing a new version of SimCity this year, by the way…). But seriously, when I chose to pursue landscape architecture in university, my world was rife with opportunities to study, to travel, and to gain practical experience in modern-day design, construction, and management.

In other regions, access to higher education and workforce training is not so simple; in other regions, entire generations of skilled artisans and professionals have been lost to war.

Countries like Cambodia, filled with natural and cultural landscapes in need of preservation and protection, riddled with histories of instability, are all too often left to wither alone or to be plundered by foreign governments, unscrupulous business ventures, and outside interest groups.

Happily, I share an encouraging story today. One of foreigners banding together to partner with Cambodian citizens to increase education, skills, and ultimately care for the Cambodian people’s cultural heritage. Continue Reading…

Cambodia, Destinations, Landscape Architecture

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – Scenes from Angkor Thom, Bayon, and Ta Prohm

February 27, 2013


Frozen Portraits at The Bayon

Don’t laugh. I have an admission to make: we followed Angelina Jolie to Cambodia. She beat us to Angkor by a dozen years, filming scenes for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2000 among the picturesque ruins of the Khmer Empire, and as round the world travelers with a stop in Siem Reap, it was too hard to resist the cheesiness of a little star-stalking during our visit to the ruins.

The Lara Croft: Tomb Raider route includes a visit to the many-faced Bayon Temple within the bounds of the ancient city of Angkor Thom and a trip through the tree-entwined bones of the similarly aged 12th and 13th century Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university of Ta Prohm. Continue Reading…

Cambodia, Destinations, Landscape Architecture

Six Hundred Years After Sunrise, or, Angkor in a Day

February 20, 2013

Angkor is perhaps the greatest of Man’s essays in rectangular architecture that has yet been brought to life.
– Arnold Joseph Toynbee, East to West


Exhibit A: Sunrise at Angkor Wat РThe Clichéd (and Beautiful) Pilgrimage Point of Cambodia

Ankgor.
A spread of ruins; archaeological remnants of an ancient civilization.

Iconic.
A bit bewildering; there for the seeing, for the picture-taking, with secrets lost from time.

Unmissable.
Take several days, they said. We took one, and filled it as full as we could. Continue Reading…