Caravan to Cambodia
Annie Block -- Interior Design, 5/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
To Gensler principal and creative director John Bricker, foreign lands don't feel, well, foreign. The son of a U.S. Air Force colonel, Bricker moved every four years as a child, from Iceland to Virginia, Florida, and California. "The more I saw, the more I learned—and the greater context I had to understand different people and places," he says. "Today, that type of varied exposure influences and inspires my work. Travel is essential." So when photographer Jim Krantz, Bricker's best friend from undergrad at Colorado State University, called him at home in New York to invite him along on an 18-day excursion to Cambodia, he started packing immediately.
He, Krantz, and Krantz's 23-year-old son spent half the trip in Siem Reap, exploring the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat and other temples built by the Khmer Empire. Then the trio headed to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, to take in street, market, and family life under the guidance of a tuk-tuk driver whose tour included his own thatched house. "The simplicity of the structures was fascinating," Bricker says. Perhaps the trip's most wonderful experience, though, was a side trip to the Sunrise Children's Village orphanage.
Up next is Costa Rica, where Gensler recently opened an office. Bricker hopes to buy land there. And maybe build his own thatched house.
John Bricker's Top 5 in Cambodia
Khmer Empire temples, SiemReap.
FCC Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap.
Silver Pagoda at the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh.
National Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh.
Open markets, Phnom Penh.