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2005 Award of Distinction

Sideng Market Square and Theatre

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Jury Citation

The restoration of the market square and theatre in the town of Sideng marks an important achievement in safeguarding the tangible and intangible heritage of multiple ethnic groups associated with the legendary “tea and horse caravan trail” dating back over 500 years. The project displays a comprehensive conservation approach combining careful historical research, systematic methodology, outside technical advisory and endogenous traditional knowledge, particularly relating to local craftsmanship. The productive collaboration between the local authorities and communities and the Swiss technical team has ensured that the market square restoration has not only been reinstated as an architectural landmark but has also revived the historic social core of the community. As the first step in a longer-term multidisciplinary programme, the project is commended for being embedded in an ambitious planning and development framework that aims to protect the social and environmental setting, improve living conditions, and introduce sustainable tourism as a means of long-term development.