As the tropical dream of a French wealthy class, pretending to be adventurous for just being a colonist, Kep-sur-mer was founded in 1908 as a resort town where once were a few fishermen huts. Kep was a daring experiment, the vanguard of a new Cambodia, to display of the avant-garde of the most modern, or modernist, country in South East Asia.
Here King Sihanouk let loose is fantasy of a great Khmer nation, guiding-light for a cultural renaissance of Indocina, in a recently independent Cambodia (1953), still de facto under the rule of a foreign nation.
New Khmer Architecture that was the name of the experiment, a meltin-pot of western modernist ideas from Bauhaus, Richard Neutra and Le Corbusier and traditional Khmer architecture. Stilted houses with impossible stairs, wide windows with bizarre geometries, wide porches and terraces.