Phnom Penh has raised the stakes for co-op working spaces with the latest addition of The Factory. Once an abandoned garment factory that closed down in 2011, the campus was reopened in 2017.
The infrastructure stretches over 3.4-hectare of land and was carefully renovated into offices, studios, and craft workshops, blending art and creativity into working space community. Located 750 meters from the Monivong bridge on National Road No 2, it is composed of 17 structures, a mixture of a large factory warehouse and smaller buildings. Taking up the size of city block, The Factory is a space unlike anything else in Cambodia.
Developers Leang Kean and Project Director, Corbett Hix, had originally planned the space to become a technology hub, but the idea was expanded to include space for artists, performers, tradecrafts and others looking to be inspired by their environment. In addition to the offices, food and beverage, as well as easy transportation like bicycles are available, The Factory became not only a space for work, but will also place to cultivate a sense of community and collaboration.
Soon after, Kobe Khy joined the team. Khy remembers how much hard work went into transforming the abandoned infrastructure into a new campus. Vacant for several years, the grounds had many electrical wires missing. The construction team underwent extensive repairs in water connections, electricity, drainage repair, renovations, and other tasks with inside the venue. Much of the original structure was left in place and incorporated into Workspace 1 (coworking space), keeping the open atmosphere with the original rafters and flooring.