The King's School, Vattanacville

From Canterbury to Cambodia

The King’s School is continuing its expansion abroad with a school on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. As part of a new development called Vattanacville, the school will cater for 1,500 pupils from kindergarten to 18.

The site is the shape of a slice of pizza. The outer edge is lined with student boarding and staff accommodation that overlooks the sports pitches. A café unites the accommodation as a social hub for students, staff and visitors to the school. In the middle of the site, the senior school and junior school buildings share the dining hall and library between them, as well as a meditation retreat and performing arts centre. And at the tip of the site, the kindergarten gives the youngest pupils their own space away from the busier facilities for older pupils.

With eight main buildings as well as the café and meditation retreat, the site organisation and circulation need to be clear and accessible. A covered walkway from the café in the north to the kindergarten in the south provides shelter from rain and sun and creates a logical route through the 11-hectare site. Landscape has been important in pulling together the built elements of the site, creating a welcoming entrance and panoramic views, lovely courtyards for play as well as a MUGA and running track. The client wants the school to be an important resource to its community, and the radial layout allows secure access to the arts and sports buildings and pitches. Northern and western entrances ease congestion for pick up and drop off.

It has been exciting designing a school from scratch and to suit a tropical climate.

The King’s School, Vattanacville will be the second King’s School in Asia, joining The King’ School Shenzhen International in China. While the school offers a British curriculum it will also embrace Cambodian culture, with Cambodian studies included on the timetable, and provides opportunities for exchange programmes and summer schools across the family of King’s Schools.


ClientVattanac Properties with The King’s School, Canterbury

CompletionSeptember 2023

Structural & Civil engineersMott MacDonald (Hong Kong office)

M&E EngineersMott MacDonald (Hong Kong office)

Landscape ArchitectEcoplan Asia (Singapore)

AcousticianAlpha Acoustics (Singapore)

Catering ConsultantsConstructive Consultant Co. Ltd (CCCL, Hong Kong)

Theatre ConsultantTheatretech (UK)