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2001 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award Winners

National Archives Building



Jin Lin Tea House



polsheer house







UNESCO received forty entries for the second UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage 2001 Awards. The projects were located in thirteen different countries and administrative areas: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Award winners were announced in September 2001 with the National Archives Building in Jakarta, Indonesia, recognized with the Award of Excellence. Photos and brief project summaries of this year's entries are given in this section.

Award of Excellence

National Archives Building

Jakarta, Indonesia

The exceptional restoration of the National Archives Building was realized through the joint efforts of private sector restoration professionals, archaeologists, government conservation experts, and local craftsmen. The 300-year old colonial-era mansion was given, with the restoration, a new livelihood as a local cultural centre with a strong educational mission. With an exemplary integrity of materials and conservation methods, the conservation of the building has been carried out successfully despite political uncertainty. The revitalized National Archive Building has not only safeguarded a vital landmark of Indonesia’s living heritage, it has also stimulated the rebirth of the surrounding area of historic Jakarta. Its well-received success has sparked a new awareness of the opportunities inherent in historic conservation and an appreciation of the roles of private citizens and public entities alike, opening the path to future collaborations in heritage preservation.

Award of Distinction

Bushell’s Tea Warehouse

New South Wales, Australia

The exemplary conversion of Bushell's Tea Warehouse into a prime commercial office building marks a major accomplishment in the redevelopment of historic industrial architecture. Innovative treatment of added service infrastructure allows for the old and the new to be read separately, while maintaining the spatial integrity of the existing building. By expressing the existing warehouse timber structure and incorporating in situ tea factory equipment, the new office spaces gain a rich character reminiscent of Sydney's industrial heritage. The impact of the building extends beyond the historic The Rocks area of the city, as the pioneering methods and techniques present a noteworthy illustration of successful industrial adaptive reuse.

Krishan Temple

Punjab, India

The restoration of the historic Krishan Temple in a multi-cultural village in the Punjab validates the important role that the conservation of shared heritage has in generating community involvement. The leading role of the NGO, especially in consolidating the efforts of the local community, is particularly commendable. The restoration was approached not just as a conservation project, but as a community-strengthening endeavor, demonstrating the success possible by conservation embedded in community. By re-introducing traditional construction techniques and materials, and transferring this technical knowledge and appreciation to the local villagers, the project conservators ensured the future sustainability of the temple, and the continued life of the building after restoration.

Award of Merit

DBS House

Mumbai, India

The restoration of DBS House demonstrates how close collaboration between the corporate property owner and local conservation experts has resulted in an exemplary adaptive reuse project that preserves local heritage while accommodating the requirements of a state-of-the-art business centre. A legacy of inappropriate and sub standard architectural additions presented a host of structural and technical challenges, which have been resolved with commendable creativity and restraint, respecting the integrity and quality of the original structure. The minimalist approach has allowed new interventions to stand alongside existing structures with equal integrity. Leading by example, the restoration of DBS House has been a catalyst in inciting further conservation efforts in the Fort Precinct of Mumbai.

King Law Ka Shuk Temple

Hong Kong SAR, China

The outstanding restoration and preservation of the King Law Ka Shuk temple sets an example in the application of best practice methodology of renovation and in demonstrating the value of restoration and conservation of an historic building for community use. Carried out with a balanced conservation approach and strong community involvement, the restoration was an ambitious attempt to bring the temple back to its original state while also integrating some more modern elements from the 1930s.

Tea Factory Hotel

Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

The impressive conversion of a tea factory into a luxury hotel complex demonstrates a challenging adaptive reuse project executed with commendable skill and vision. The project showcases the industrial heritage of the Sri Lankan hill country, where tea factories are the predominant building type, and suggests how this legacy can be adapted to future uses. The respectful treatment of the exterior allowed the project to maintain its contextual integrity, while bolder interior interventions allowed the building to assume its new role in the hospitality sector.

Xijin Ferry Area Project

Zhenjiang jiangsu Province, China

The recognition and subsequent restoration of three key structures in the Xijin Ferry area demonstrate how a strategic preservation project can anchor and give impetus to a wider-reaching intervention affecting the larger urban fabric. Appropriate new use of the buildings in accordance with the original use is an expression of a commendable effort in preserving authenticity. Architecturally sophisticated and restrained, the conservation project was successfully carried out with minimal intervention and has acted as an important catalyst, opening up an enormous residential area for future restoration.

Zhongshan Road

Fujian Province, China

The impressive conservation effort of a one-mile stretch of Zhongshan Road in the historic port town of Quanzhou sets a new model: a comprehensive urban conservation plan that creates a guideline by which individual buildings can gradually be adapted and unsympathetic concrete additions can be removed. The initiative of the local government and the active support of the private sector exemplify collective responsibility for heritage conservation. The authentic choice of materials coupled with a sensitive introduction of modern elements ensures the feasibility of the conservation plan.

Honourable Mention

Jin Lan Tea House

Yunhan Province, China

The commendable restoration of this traditional Chinese courtyard house in Kunming Old Town is the successful result of thorough research, community involvement and preservation planning. As a sample house for a conservation manual intended to guide the restoration of a large area of Kunming Old Town, the restoration of the Jin Lan Tea House has important implications for the whole community and advances the efforts of the local conservation movement. The restoration of the courtyard house exemplifies heritage conservation through the enhancement of community culture and through the illustration of the traditional Kunming lifestyle to local inhabitants and visitors.

University of Mumbai Library Building

Mumbai, India

The state-of-the-art restoration of the Library Building at the University of Mumbai exhibits exemplary technical accomplishment and returns one of the city’s landmark buildings to its original splendor. Commendable attention to methodology of restoration and authenticity of the new elements is evident in the meticulous conservation project. Reintroducing some lost arts by training local craftsmen to accomplish an authentically accurate restoration has revived these art forms for use in the community and in future conservation projects.

Neilson Tower

Metro Manila, Philippines

The impressive conversion of one of Asia’s earliest airports into a heritage library represents a major achievement in preserving an important era of Manila’s history. Historical events and architecture are exemplified in the legacy of the structure and in the choice to continue its livelihood as an educational facility. In a time of rapid urban development and expansion, the Nielson Tower is an excellent model for others to follow on how to appropriately re-adapt historic structures in the community.

St. Joseph’s Seminary Church

Macao SAR, China

Restoration of St. Joseph’s Church exemplifies the heroic rescue of a severely dilapidated structure, which is testimony to, and one of the most important vestiges of, the missionary history in Macao. In order to consolidate the decaying architecture, balanced decisions were taken to introduce new structural elements to the building. The co-operative effort that went into the revitalization of the structure made a notable impact in the community.

Thian Hock Temple

158 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore

The restoration of one of Singapore’s oldest temples exemplifies the successful result of a collaborative effort of a team of conservation experts and skilled artisans. The use of traditional methods and materials, coupled with the introduction of innovative technical solutions to protect the structure, were successfully implemented without interfering with the original aesthetics of the temple. This also demonstrates the understanding of cultural and social significance to devotees and tourists alike.