Sothea designed and oversaw the construction of a cafe, bar, and arts space in Tuol Tom Poung, near Phnom Penh's "Russian Market." The small shophouse space had been poorly maintained in the years prior, and its renovation required significant structural changes even as the walls with the adjacent houses remained the same.
The design retained the shophouse's original sentiment even as it updated the space with modern touches, antique wood detailing, a new bar, and green "living" windows on the rear walls. Sothea chose to retain the original peaked roof as well as the wooden beams which run through all of the shophouses on the block. The stairs to the second floor were moved to the house's rear to more openly welcome customers from the street, and a small garden patio was added to the front at street level to contribute to a greener neighborhood and a cool area to relax in the middle of the afternoon.
A collection of photographs from the progress of the three-month construction:
With the redesign of the small building, Sothea transformed an enclosed and dated shophouse into an intimate but elegant space for TINI to operate its cafe and bar offerings. The design added a garden and green features, built a new staircase to reach the second floor, and provided a balcony from which customers could enjoy the streetview through the trees.
TINI cafe+bar is located on Street 450, near Russian Market (Psar Tuol Tom Poung) in Phnom Penh.