243 teams composed of 601 participants from 51 countries participated in the competition, which was held for the salvation of the unique lake Tonslesap biosphere and the people living there. One of the objectives of the competition was the sponsorship of the Children's Hospital of the city of Angkor, all the contributions received were sent to the fund hospital care.
The organizers have identified three areas for a given project:
- Health and medical care to local residents
- Ecology Research
- Increasing education and awareness of the environmental condition of the local population.
The jury consisted of: Andrew Maynard (Andrew Maynard Architects), Arthur Andersson (Andersson-Wise), Camillo Boano (DPU, The Bartlett, UCL), Christine Murray (Editor in Chief Architecture Review), Elena Dovlou (Athens Metropolitan College), Ingrid Bill (BilleBeyeSheid), Massimo Foretz (+39 Architects), Matilda Marengo (IAAC), Perry Hooper (Grimshaw), Sean O'Rourke (The Trust for Public Land), Tom Kyundig (Olson-Kundig) Andrea Verenini (Chief Editor Eleven)
The winner was the team from Thailand project , the project will offer housing for a family of 7 people with stable integrated engineering systems and a combination of active and passive design: Water purification system, anaerobic autoclave for the production of biogas and wind turbine generator of electricity.
Second place went to the team from Romania. The motto of the project was the slogan "Everything is interconnected." The project is adapted to the unique conditions of the area and focuses on the local culture and identity:
"For the 1.2 million people that are calling Tonle Sap their home, we propose a series of flexible, easy to construct 6x6m, modular bamboo structures that float in concentrated areas around the lake. Having the section inspired by local houses, each structure is linked to another and has the ability to open up creating naturally ventilated spaces, sun shading and additional harbor platforms. The main implementation site is in the North-East as it can easily be connected to Siem Reaps hospital. The structures can be easily rearranged and replicated according to the villager’s position, either in the center of at the margins of the lake. The proposed structure acts an addition to the existing villages, providing necessary functions such as minimal aid, research labs, public toilets and education for both its inhabitants and the tourists. From all the inhabitants inside the Tonle Sap lake there is roughly around 149,000 kg of human waste daily. By creating a series of underwater tanks it is possible to extract methane gas locally and generate electricity and fuel using a technique already implemented in Kenya.
The symbol or lighthouse of the intervention is a bamboo tower, inspired by local fishing baskets acting as a signal for those in need, a meeting and debate area for the villagers or a briefing site for the tourists. The tower is the only structure that is permanent, pivoting around its columns in response to the shifting water levels. There is a time to be bold, but here, this is a time to be humble, sensitive to the voice of waters, discovering the architecture that the site itself seeks, bound to place, landscape, native country, man. Bringing together the elements an organic entity is formed, reacting as a body, the legacy of a great civilization lost in the silence, waters and winds of Cambodia."