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Project Profile

 

2006 Award of Excellence

Shigar Fort-Palace

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Jury Citation

The restoration of the 400-year old Shigar Fort Palace has transformed one of the historic landmarks of Baltistan into a museum and exclusive heritage guesthouse, setting a high-profile precedent for a sustainable modern reuse of heritage structures in Pakistan. By retaining the structure and its fine decorative elements, while making careful modern insertions into the building, the project team has revived the palace’s unique spirit of place. The project has strategically capitalized on the complex’s authentic local architecture and dramatic setting in the Karakoram Mountains to create a unique destination for visitors. Through a holistic community development approach, multiplier effects from the project have benefited the local villagers in form of job creation, upgrade of shared infrastructure and water supply, and renewed pride in the area’s rich crafts and intangible heritage traditions. At the highest levels of national policy, the restoration has called attention to the need for reassessing heritage legislation to safeguard a broader spectrum of heritage. The project is positioned to redefine the approach to both heritage conservation and cultural tourism in the region, by demonstrating that conserving the authenticity of heritage assets is the critical first step for the sustainable development of communities, by integrating buildings, people and their cultural and natural environment.