Evicting Dreams: The Last Days of the White Building

On June 6th, the faces of the residents of the White Building showed the sadness of what were their last days home. During those days, people were rushing to say goodbye to each other, using up every last second in conversations about what it had been like to live in this legendary building for so many years. This was the end; the life of what has probably been the most charismatic building in Phnom Penh came to an end, and with it, the community that has filled this place with magic for so many years.

Designed in 1963, the White Building - the summit of what was the new urban plan of Phnom Penh - will be converted in a 21-storey building filled with luxury apartments, parking lots, and commercial areas. The end of the White Building symbolizes what has been in recent years a loss of identity in Phnom Penh, with the destruction of the traditional Khmer and colonial buildings, which has completely transformed the skyline of the city, with most of it yet to some.

Photography: © Omar Havana. All Rights are Reserved

This story was published in BBC and South China Morning Post