Green Paradise status ©2018
Status: international design competition
Client: UNDP – United Nations Development Programme, Phnom Penh special economic zone, Cambodia
Design: Monolab
Team: Jan Willem van Kuilenburg with Rositsa Atanasova, Federica Minervini, Alan Shadap


…an urban tissue for affordable housing, based on social coherence, building simplicity, user flexibility and passive sustainability systems…


Green Paradise is a constructed wetland with two levels of residential units and a fruit forest.

Social Coherence
Reduced height of the project, little squares and pedestrian streets create a friendly atmosphere. At city floor level community clusters are made in the constructed wetland around private and green open-air patios. People meet each other also on the roof deck, where we propose a private park with local harvesting of edible crops and fruits. In between city floor and roof deck are two levels of residential units.

Building Simplicity
The building has a simple concrete structure of floor slabs and columns. It is perforated by public pedestrian streets and patios to allow light and ventilation into the residential tissue. A system of wooden decks, galleries and stairs at all floor levels connects all units.

User Flexibility
The simplicity of the single residential unit makes it easily adaptable to different configuration: single (6×6 m), couple (6×9 m), family and multi generation (6×12 m). Citizens are able to expand the units from one single to become one and a half or double by means of removable and adaptable stabilized mud bricks. The use of sliding panels and curtains makes the internal subdivisions easy to organize and adaptable to different user’s needs. Entrepreneurial units for business development are located at the city floor level.

Passive Sustainability Systems
Constructed wetland & water purification system: the proximity to the river provides a constructed wetland below the project. The use of helophytes will clean the water flowing through the site.

Passive cooling system: airflow over the wetland provides cool air to circulate through all patios and up to the fruit forest. The units are ventilated by the open facades and the cavities inside the mud brick walls between units.

Shading strategies: A system of curtains, metal mesh, lamellas and glass provides shading and airflow and organizes the lay-outs of the units.

Energy systems: The roof deck is shaded by the vegetation and includes fields of solar panels that will supply electricity for public LED lighting, public WIFI and the water pumps in the wetland.

Local materials: The units incorporate locally available materials such as stabilized mud bricks for the unit walls and wood for the galleries and stairs.

Green Paradise is a constructed wetland with two levels of residential units and a fruit forest.