Smiling Gecko - The Gong

The Gong – Grand Opening

After nearly three years of joint efforts, we are delighted to announce the Grand Opening of the cultural centre ‘The Gong’ on the Smiling Gecko educational campus in Cambodia, on the 28th and 29th of June 2024!

This adventure began with our encounter with Hannes Schmid, who invited us to join this ambitious project in 2021. It allowed our team to dedicate our energy to a sustainable cause: education. This first building marks the beginning of a series of new educational facilities, aiming to offer a comprehensive program to the local community.

“If you want to invest in something sustainable, invest in education.”

Investing in education is a commitment to the future and our responsibility to future generations. By equipping this community with necessary tools, we support a flourishing, sustainable future. True wealth lies in the youth who will inhabit these places, with their greatest creations yet to come.

During the Khmer Rouge regime, music and dance were banned, impacting the cultural memory of the local population. This influences the cultural memory of the locals and the transmission of knowledge between generations to this day.

Musical education reconnects with cultural roots, enriching our understanding and broadening our worldview. The Gong by Smiling Gecko offers a comprehensive program emphasizing, culture and music, providing holistic education and a platform for expertise exchange.

The Gong - building with light, air and water

Cambodia faces climatic challenges, with distinct dry and rainy seasons. The Gong's architecture addresses temperature regulation, air circulation and water management.

In our circular building, inspired by the gong, the round shape receives the wind, allowing it to glide along the facade without resistance. The curved facade minimizes the surface exposed to the tropical sun as well. This wall acts as a protective filter against sun and rain, naturally regulating temperature and ventilation within.

The architecture and design of the roof and the outer shell allows natural cross ventilation. Perforated brickwork filters light and warm air, moderating outdoor heat. Strategically placed inlets and outlets ensure continuous air circulation.

During the rainy season, rainwater is directed from the roof to the centre of the building, where it is collected like in an impluvium. Falling rain creates a dynamic water sculpture. As The Gong is elevated, the collected water can be channelled to a dedicated reservoir. The water stored is used in the farms onsite during the dry season.

Working on The Gong in Cambodia provided a unique opportunity to exchange valuable knowledge with locals and adapt to distinct climatic challenges, resulting in an unparalleled architectural achievement.


smiling gecko press kit

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