Alessandro Mangano

Architectural Engineering Consultant

 “The project I’m proudest of is my next”

Graduating from the Polytechnic University of Milan with a Master of Science in Building and Architectural Engineering, Alessandro started his career working as Project Manager for Architectural Engineering Consultants (AEC), a global network of designers, where he worked on various projects across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East before moving to Cambodia.

Today we have the pleasure to chat with Alessandro about his personal and professional experiences in Cambodia.

Tell us about your academic and professional background?

After graduating, I started my career in the construction and architecture sectors, where I dealt with project planning and coordination. I try to give each of my projects a precise identity so that the buildings not only fulfill the client’s needs but reflect my idea of architecture.  My practical approach focuses on the most innovative design form, materials, and construction technologies. 

Why Cambodia?

Back in 2016, I moved to Phnom Penh for work: I was assigned a challenging and stimulating project there and I decided to put myself to the test. Quickly, I realised that Cambodia had much to offer and that its breathtakingly beautiful is in its simplicity.

What do you love most about Cambodia?

Cambodian people are extremely kind and friendly, they give great importance to spirituality and all the spaces and buildings here are a perfect reflection of the people’s indissoluble bond with nature.

What do you enjoy doing after work?

I don’t have much free time, but when I do, I like to connect with nature and explore the surrounding areas outside of the urban and often chaotic Phnom Penh. My go-to places are the rice fields and water mirrors that dot the capital’s outskirts because of their serenity and peacefulness. Other places I enjoy are the limestone and sandstone caves, where light and colour effects give a feeling of being one with the tropical landscape.

What is your current job in Cambodia?

I am a partner at AEC, a global design firm, that though young, has earned an excellent reputation for quality. I work as an Architectural Engineering Consultant and Project Manager, following projects from beginning to end, from planning to delivery. I usually work with big corporations both Cambodian and international, especially in the residential and hospitality sectors.

How has your approach to work changed since moving to Cambodia?

In Italy, starting at university, students are taught the importance of historical and cultural heritage and this approach to architecture and construction. In contrast, in Cambodia focus has shifted toward the environment and integration of buildings into the local landscape. I try to fulfill my clients’ needs while adding character and that personal touch to my projects, so they somehow stand out within their surroundings. To do this, my colleagues and I use the most advanced technologies to maximise the integration of design and function.

What is your proudest achievement since moving to Cambodia?

I think of myself as a highly motivated professional that always seeks new challenges. I tend not to “fall in love” with my projects. Therefore, I would say that “the project I’m proudest of is my next”.

How has COVID influenced your sector?

Despite the nationwide lockdown imposed by the government, our global offices keep working on multiple projects. The only real change is workflow organisation. Before the pandemic, I would constantly keep in touch with clients and usually work with them on site. Now, I’ve switched to smart-working, which is not a radical change since we had always made use of remote-working to cut project costs and times.

What would be your best advice for Italians who want to move to Cambodia?

I believe that any Italian professional willing to export their know-how adds value to Cambodia and that they could do a lot for the country and its people while fulfilling their own professional aspirations. What matters is to be passionate and willing to work.

? To make a connection with Alessandro Mangano, visit his profile on our Business Directory here

✍️ Federico Rosmarini

? Alessandro Mangano