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Lumen Street Children Learning Center


A day spent with the Cambodia YMCA kids has been a life changing experience. They have taught me to never take things for granted and to appreciate the littlest things in life. They have made me realize how grateful I am to be who I am today.


CONTENTS

PART ONE Thesis Research Thesis Topic Client Profile User Profile Questionaires Program Analysis Code Analysis

PART TWO Building Selection Site Building Site Photos

PART THREE Thesis Solution Ideation/Concept Inspiration Process Sketches Adjacency Diagrams

PART FOUR Final Design Isometric Floor Plan Entrance Perspective Community Perspective Indoor Play Area Perspective Library Perspective Elevation Final Board Presentation Mentor


PART ONE Thesis Research


Image Credit: Chakriya Mey


Thesis Topic The gloabl challenge of poverty is observed from every part of the world including developed countries. Education has been and is a way out of poverty. In America, students with college degree have proven to do better in their career than those who drop out of school. Sadly, in third world country like, Cambodia, 4.8 million of the population lives in poverty. Cambodian children cannot afford to go to school due to poverty. In addition, these children are living on the street and in the poorest slum in Phnom Penh (Capitol of Cambodia). They could not afford the daily basic need such as clean water, food, clothing or medical care. Not only are these children lacking the physical need to thrive and survive, they are lacking the love and support from their parents who have abandon them. Some are forced to work at a very young age picking rubbish, cooking and cleaning to support their siblings, while many others clash with the law and find themsleves the victims of crime.


Why I select this Topic? When my parents were younger, they never had the chance to finish high school due to war; the outbreak of Khmer Rouge (Red Khmer) following the Cambodian Genocide that took place from 1975 until 1979. The Khmer Rouge wanted to transform Cambodia into a rural, classless society where there is no rich people, no poor people and no exploitation. “To accomplish this, they abolished money, free markets, normal schooling, private property, foreign clothing styles, religious practices, and traditional Khmer culture. Public schools, pagodas, mosques, churches, universities, shops and government buildings were shut or turned into prisons, stables, reeducation camps and granaries. There was no public or private transportation and no private property�. They executed hundreds of thousands of intellectuals including city residents, doctors, lawyers and the rest was forced to undertake agriculture work. Those who lived through the regime were severely traumatized by their experiences. Thousands of people were made widows and orphans, my parents included. Many fled Cambodia and become refugees in foreign countries. My parents never had the chance to migrate after the war. Because of the experience they have gone through, my parents work really hard to try to keep me in school so that I could become a more educated individual when I grow up.


The same goes with many other Cambodian families. Once knowledge is achieved, it could not be stolen from you. As a child, my mom always tells me that nothing is more valuable than education. They told me that materials and wealth could be stolen from you but nobody can steal your knowledge. Education in Cambodia has never been the best. Students never really received good education in public schools. A few international schools cost fortune which many can’t afford. I was very fortunate Iwas able to study abroad in Myanmar where classes are being taught in English. Education in Myanmar is so much better in comparison to where I came from. After I graduated from high school, my parents were able to safe enough money and sent me off to attend college here in the United States. I felt really blessed and fortunate I was able to receive the education here; I wish I have this opportunity when I was younger. When recession hit in 2007, it was a very difficult time for me and my parents as well. At one point I could not afford to go to school.

These less unfortunate kids remind me of myself when I cannot afford education. They want to learn but they do have the resources to do so. These kids have given me strength, whenever life gets hard, I just think of them, what they have to go through and it will help push me through tough times and to not give up. They have taught me to never take things for granted and to appreciate the littlest things in life. They have made me realize how thankful and grateful I am to be the person I am today. These kids are an inspiration to us all. Having born and raised in Cambodia myself, this project would be a great opportunity for me to give back, now that I have been able to accomplish my goal through education. My dream as a designer is to be able to change someone’s life through interior design. Designers are capable of designing beautiful and functional spaces for users to experience, but most important of all, designers could also make a difference in the world. This project will give these kids hope and for them to feel a sense of belonging in the society that they live in.


Client Research

Image Credit: Chakriya Mey


In 2011, the YMCA of Greater Long Beach created a program that has a new and innovative approach helping young Cambodian Americans, who have never lived in Cambodia or understand their culture to reconnect by traveling back to the country. Cambodian Americans reconnect to their culture and to hundreds of children, at the same time giving back to the community by raising money to buy foods and school supplies, teaching them English, computer, how to use digital cameras and everything else in between. This project has grown in popularity and has inspired many people as it has inspired me.


Image Credit: Chakriya Mey


YMCA Street Children Learning Center The YMCA Street Children Learning Center is a school that provides free education and a meal per day for children that cannot afford to go to school. Pictures on the opposite page demonstrate the condition of the space as of today. With the weather that is hot all year round averaging around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 91 percent humidity, reaching to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, there is no mean of air conditioning. There is one fan that is constantly broken. Seventy students gather here daily to get free education and one free meal. Some of them manage to savage half of their meal for their siblings.


Client Profile Ron Ung is a Senior Program Director for the YMCA of Greater Long Beach with many years of experience working for nonprofit organization. He’s currently working with the YMCA in Cambodia as Youth Development Director.


“We aim to improve the community and create a culture of caring, kindness and compassion. I believe that youth are the future leaders of society and it is important to invest in them at a young age.�

- Ron Ung-


User Profile Primary Users

Cambodian Street Children age 6-14

Secondary Users

Administrative Staffs Teachers Visitors from all over the world who goes to Cambodia to help contribute and give back to the less fortunate

Image Credit: Chakriya Mey


Client Questionaire Q. What is your role at the YMCA? A. I am the Youth Development Director. Q. How many branches are there in total? A. There are one YMCA head office and two street children program in Phnom Penh. Q. How long have you been volunteering? A. I’ve been volunteering for the Cambodia YMCA since November 2011. I moved to Cambodia in December 2014. Last month, I started working as a consultant for the Cambodia YMCA. Q. What are some of the challenges you face working at the YMCA? A. There are many challenges working at the YMCA. First is the cultural barrier. Although, I am Cambodian, I am not viewed as a Cambodian for having been born and raised in the US. Cultural norms are much different. People take calls during meetings. Saving face is huge. You never want to counsel a staff in front of other staff. Communication barrier is also a challenge.

It is better to talk to someone in person and explain step by step what you want to achieve. Emails are often lost in translation. Work environment is much different as well. Staff salaries are much less compared to the U.S. Even though the standard of living is lower in Cambodia, the difference in salary makes it very tough for people living in Cambodia to survive and that includes the YMCA. Necessities such as cold water, air conditioning, and quality computers are seen as luxuries. It is unbearable many times in Cambodia’s tropical environment. Q. What are some of the challenges that the YMCA facility faces today? A. Not enough space for classrooms. Student enrollment in YMCA schools has increased tremendously due to its low cost.The office space is rented and the landlord doesn’t want to renew the lease since he feels that he can rent it to a business for a lot more. At the Street Children’s Program, there is no air conditioning. Fans are constantly broken. The school is located in a warehouse and when it rains, it becomes so loud that the teachers cannot teach and the students cannot focus. The children, teachers, and volunteers, especially, those that are expats or repatriate are always so hot that they are drenched in sweat. No proper restroom facility.


The school is located in front of the railroad tracks and 95% of those living in our service area are living below the International Poverty Line of $2 per day. In addition, security becomes an issue where bikes and sandals are sometimes stolen. Children do not feel safe walking back home at night. Q. How are you and the YMCA striving to meet these challenges? A. We are talking to our children and understanding what is needed to create a safe and positive environment. We are documenting stories, photos, and videos to show to the rest of the world just how much resources the YMCA needs. With my background coming from years of experience working for the YMCA in Long Beach, California, I am able to help the Cambodia YMCA articulate its story and seek funding from private and public donors. Our YMCA partners are dedicated in helping the Cambodia YMCA grow and build quality programs as well as income generating sustainability programs such as tourism and social enterprises. I always encourage my friends and family to visit me and volunteer at the YMCA to understand just how much a brief

interaction, small contribution makes a huge impact. They are able to see the vast difference in quality compared to that in the USA. Q. How many staff does the YMCA employed? Who are they? A. There are 10-15 staffs. There’s General secretary, teachers, street children program coordinator, housekeeping, education manager, youth development coordinator, youth development director, human resource, finance, administration assistant. Q. What are some of the amenities the YMCA staffs and students use? A. I would not consider the YMCA having any amenities. We currently operate at a bare bones minimum. Staffs do have a year-end retreat to the beach. Even then, accommodations are made to be very frugal. The children at the Street Children Program receive FREE education and one hot meal per day with meat. Children attending government school are often charged a daily fee of anywhere between $0.12-$0.50 by the teacher. This creates a serious disadvantage for children living in extreme poverty. 1 in 5 Cambodians live in poverty.


Q. What kind of classes offer at the YMCA? A. Photography, computer, English, Khmer Q. What programs need to be implemented at the YMCA that will benefit these kids? A. More vocational training and better English classes. Cambodia has many people with college degrees but with very little work/ vocational experience, many are forced to take entry level jobs or a job unrelated to their major. English provides a gateway to the world. Many jobs are available for those who have a strong command of the English language. Q. Do you held any communal activities at the YMCA facilities? How many people you hosted? A. Yes, we’ve held Food banking, dinner, charity events, trash clean-up, and holiday events at the YMCA. We aim to improve the community and create a culture of caring, kindness and compassion. I believe that youth are the future leaders of society and it is important to invest in them at a young age. We’ve hosted up to 1,000 people.

Q. What programs need to be implemented at the YMCA that will benefit these kids? A. More vocational training and better English classes. Cambodia has many people with college degrees but with very little work/ vocational experience, many are forced to take entry level jobs or a job unrelated to their major. English provides a gateway to the world. Many jobs are available for those who have a strong command of the English language.


Q. Do you held any communal activities at the YMCA facilities? How many people you hosted? A. Yes, we’ve held Food banking, dinner, charity events, trash clean-up, and holiday events at the YMCA. We aim to improve the community and create a culture of caring, kindness and compassion. I believe that youth are the future leaders of society and it is important to invest in them at a young age. We’ve hosted up to 1,000 people. Q. Where do these kids live? A. The children of the Street Children Program live in shacks next to the train tracks. The environment is plagued by abuse, neglect, and drugs. Many of these children have parents that have abandoned them or are incarcerated. Despite these challenges, the children are some of the most caring, loving and intelligent children that I’ve met. Many are expected to take care of their siblings and earn little money by picking up rubbish, cooking and cleaning.

Q. How many are there? What is the age group? A. 70 involved in the Street Children Program. Over 475 children have completed the 2 year program and many we still involved in some capacity. Ages 6-14. Q. What are some of the activities these kids enjoy doing after school/during school? A. They enjoy singing, dancing, photography, computer literacy, exposure field trips, sports and learning.


Q. Do you host visitors? What is their age group? How many are there? A. We’ve hosted many groups from around the world. One of our largest groups is from the USA led by the YMCA of Greater Long Beach. Age group is 16-60. We hosted 17 groups this year and many more individuals/small groups. Q. If there’s no limitation or budget, what would be an ideal location for the YMCA facility and why? A. The ideal location would be nearby the current YMCA location because it is in the service area we are currently in and it is nearby the airport, making it easily accessible for visitors. Ideally, it would be on a main street with prominent YMCA signs and pictures. The facility will have proper security, ample space to hold large community events. Q. Do you think a service area check-in/ check-out would be helpful? A. Yes, that is important, especially in Cambodia where child protection laws are strict due to many child abuse cases. We want to ensure the safety of our kids at the utmost importance.

Q. Again, with no budget or limitation, what kind of program would you like to have and put into practice in this space to benefits you, the kids and everyone who visited the YMCA kids? A. The facility will be spacious with multiple levels. I imagine a center that utilizes shipping containers to build the facility. There will be individual offices for each department, air conditioning, cold water, tea, coffee, fitness facility, meeting room, media and technology room, cafeteria, library/study room, playground area, classrooms large enough where the children have their personal space. The facility will be hip and trendy that makes anyone want to be a part of.


Program Analysis ROOM

AREA SQ. FT

Entrance Community Health Service Office Donation Storage Private Offices Administrative Offices Kitchen Dining Conference / Media Room Flexible Space Classrooms Staff Rooms Indoor Play Area Library Lounge Space Living Room Restroom Children 6-9 Shared Dormitories Children 9-11 Shared Dormitories Teenage Boy Private Dormitories Teenage Girl Private Dormitories Circulation 30%

920 3,200 155 110 280 330 430 500 200 410 4,050 170 1,600 1,180 1,800 410 390 650 1,740 390 390 5,791

Total Sq. Ft

25,096


Code Analysis ROOM

AREA SQ. FT

Entrance Community Health Service Office Donation Storage Private Offices Administrative Offices Kitchen Dining Conference / Media Room Flexible Space Classrooms Staff Rooms Indoor Play Area Library Lounge Space Living Room Restroom Children 6-9 Shared Dormitories Children 9-11 Shared Dormitories Teenage Boy Private Dormitories Teenage Girl Private Dormitories

920 3,200 155 110 280 330 430 500 200 410 4,050 170 1,600 1,180 1,800 410 390 650 1,740 390 390

Total Occupancy

OCCUPANT LOAD NUMBER OF NUMBER OF FACTOR TABLE OCCUPANTS EXITS 1004.1.1 REQUIRED 100 gross 15 net 100 gross 300 gross 100 gross 100 gross 200 gross 15 net 100 gross 100 gross 20 net 100 gross 7 net 50 net 100 gross 200 gross N/A 50 gross 50gross 50 gross 50 gross

9 213 1 0 2 3 2 33 2 4 201 1 228 23 18 2 N/A 13 35 7 7 822

1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1


PART TWO Building Selection


Building Site Location site is located close to Phnom Penh International Airport make it easily accessible for visitors.

International Airport

Selected Building Location


Building Site

Playground

Parking

Building Selection is a potential site due to its close proximity to the currrent YMCA location and close by the homes of the YMCA kids. It also has great outdoor spaces potential for parking and children playground.

K

D TRAC RAILROA IS H T G N IVES ALO

REN L ET CHILD

CA STRE MOST YM

Current Location


Building Total Building Square Footage: 12,960 Sq. Ft Building Height: 21 ft. from floor to lower truss Building Feature: Corrugated metal shell with no electrical or plumbing Address: #260B, St. 138 Sangkat Toeuk-la-ork, khan. Toul Kork, Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Site Photos


PART THREE Thesis Solution


Project Goal My goal is to create a safe and positive environment and to improve the lives of these less fortunate street children from the age of 6 to 14 a new beginning, by providing them basic needs such as shelter where they could feel safe while giving them the opportunity to receive quality education that will serves as a pathway out of poverty.


Concept / Ideation The concept is derived from the idea of Diamond in the Rough, which means “someone that has hidden exceptional characteristics or future potential, but currently lacks the final touches that would make them truly stand out from the crowd.� These children are diamonds in the rough; they may appear dubious and lacking socially valued quality right now, but are in fact intelligent and caring children. At Lumen, they have the potential to shine and have a bright future with the love, support and guidance, just like the process of cutting and polishing a rough stone into diamond that become highly valuable to society.

TRANSFORMATION

SHINE

HOPE


Rough

Clarity


Illuminate


Mood Board


PART FOUR Final Design


Isometric Floor Plan T MEZZANINE LEVEL T. LOUNGE SPACES

SECOND LEVEL A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H.

COMMUNITY STAFF ROOM CHILDREN AGE 6-9 DORMITORIEs LIBRARY CHILDREN AGE 9-11 DORMITORIES LIVING ROOM TEENAGE BOY PRIVATE DORMITORIES TEENAGE GIRL PRIVATE DORMITORIES

D

B E

C

VIEW TO DOWN BELOW

B

F G

A

H

FIRST LEVEL A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L.

ENTRY COMMUNITY HEALTH CHECK UP DONATIONS STORAGE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES KITCHEN DINING CONFERENCE ROOM/FLEX SPACE ART CLASSROOM CLASSROOMS COMPUTER ROOM INDOOR PLAY AREA

J

J

J J

K

L C

D

J

H I

A

E F

B

G


Humble Entrance

This humble entrance is design to have a warm and welcoming experience for the street children entering into the space. Design is achieved by using low, warm light with low ceiling and a darker material


Community Area In order to accommodate the amount of people the YMCA hosted, the communal area is design so that it is easily accessible to the courtyard if it gets too crowed. The community area is design to improve the community and create a culture of caring, kindness and compassion .


Interior Play Area


“ Invest in education, so you can change lives”


Elevation


Final Presentation Board

LUMEN

STREET CHILDREN LEARNING CENTER

LEARN . LAUGH . PLAY . LOVE

THESIS STATEMENT The global challenge of poverty is observed from every part of the world including developed countries. Education is a way out of poverty. In Cambodia, 4.8 million of the population lives in poverty. Many children grow up alone without the love and support of their families. Some are forced to work at a very young age picking rubbish, cooking and cleaning to support their siblings, while many others clash with the law and find themselves the victims of crime.

TRANSFORMATION

PROJECT DESCRIPTION Located in the capital city, Phnom Penh in Cambodia Lumen is a center that offers less fortunate children from the age of 6 to 14 a new beginning by providing them a space where they can seek shelter and have opportunities to learn and grow, giving them hope and a sense of belonging in the society they live in.

CONCEPT The concept is derived from the idea of Diamond in the Rough, which means “someone that has hidden exceptional characteristics or future potential, but currently lacks the final touches that would make them truly stand out from the crowd.” These children are diamonds in the rough; they may appear dubious and lacking socially valued quality right now, but are in fact intelligent and caring children. At Lumen, they have the potential to shine and have a bright future with the love, support and guidance, just like the process of cutting and polishing a rough stone into diamond that become highly valuable to society.

SHINE

HOPE

HUMBLE ENTRANCE

LOVING CARING COMMUNITY

INDOOR PLAY AREA

“Invest in education, so you can change lives” PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

EXISTING BUILDING

SITE PLAN / BUILDING LOCATION

T

MEZZANINE LEVEL T

T. LOUNGE SPACES T

SECOND LEVEL A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H.

COMMUNITY STAFF ROOM CHILDREN AGE 6-9 SHARED DORMITORIE LIBRARY CHILDREN AGE 9-11 SHARED DORMITORIES LIVING ROOM TEENAGE BOY PRIVATE DORMITORIES TEENAGE GIRL PRIVATE DORMITORIES

D B

E E

C B F G

A H

FIRST LEVEL A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L.

ENTRY COMMUNITY HEALTH CHECK UP DONATIONS STORAGE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES KITCHEN DINING CONFERENCE ROOM/FLEX SPACE ART CLASSROOM CLASSROOMS PARKING COMPUTER ROOM

LIBRARY J

J

J

INDOOR PLAY AREA

L

K

D C

J

H A

I

E

G F B

PLAYGROUND

SECTION

DD

Designed By: Chakriya Mey Class of 2016


Model


Acknowledgement Studio Professor Program Coordinator Interior Design BFA Phone: 562.985.1733 Professional Mentor Tevy Pal Principal at Pal idstudio 118 E. Amerige Ave. Fullerton CA 92832 Phone: 714 870 6500

Recent Graduate Mentor Sarah Oxley Vida Design LLC 107 SE Washington St, Ste 263, Portland, Oregon Phone: 707 363 4714


Thank you to all studio professors, faculty members of the design department, mentors, studio mates and everyone that took the time to help advice and guide me throughout my thesis process and helped me get through my thesis. I am very thankful to be a part of this program and thankful for the knowledge and education I have received


Chakriya mey thesis book  

The purpose is to create a safe, fun and positive environment and improve the lives and well being of less unfortunate children in Cambodia...

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