Winners of 2012 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards Announced

September 9, 2012  News from UNESCO office in Bangkok.

Mbaru Niang, a village of traditional houses in Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia has been honoured with the Award of Excellence in the 2012 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.  

The two Awards of Distinction include the Sethna Buildings in Mumbai, India and the Water Systems in Hampi, India.

The three Awards of Merit include the Zhizhusi Complex in Beijing, China; the Chandramauleshwat Temple in Hampi, India; and Khilingrong Mosque in Shigar, Pakistan.

Two Honourable Mentions were also announced. They include the William Street Precinct in Perth, Australia and Jaisalmer Fort in Rajasthan, India.

A total of 43 entries, from 11 countries in the region, were submitted for consideration. The conservation project entries include residential buildings, urban streetscapes, religious sites, institutional buildings, military properties, cultural landscapes, commercial buildings, bridges, industrial properties and archaeological sites.

The 2012 Jury Commendation for Innovation was awarded to the Reading Room of the Portuguese School of Macau in Macao SAR, China. The Jury Commendation recognizes newly-built structures which demonstrate outstanding standards for contemporary architectural design which are well-integrated into historic contexts.

The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation recognizes the efforts of private individuals and organizations that have successfully restored and conserved structures and buildings of heritage value in the region. 

UNESCO believes that recognizing private efforts to restore and adapt historic properties will encourage other property owners to undertake conservation projects within the community, either independently or by seeking public-private partnerships. 

A panel of international conservation experts in architecture, urban planning, heritage conservation, architectural historians and landscape design conducted the selection process. The jury panel was particularly impressed with the diversity of project types submitted for this year’s awards, covering a broad spectrum of conservational issues. The winners were selected based on the way that the projects reflected a clear understanding and application of the various components of the awards criteria, such as the articulation of the spirit of place, appropriate use or adaption, or the project’s contribution to the surrounding environment and the local community’s cultural and historical continuum.

Eligible projects must be more than 50 years old and the restoration must have been completed within the past 10 years.  Buildings must have also been in viable use for at least one year from the date of the awards announcement.  

The 2012 cycle of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation is supported by the Macau Foundation. UNESCO and the Macau Foundation share similar objectives in promoting, developing and nurturing the importance of our cultural heritage.

Please click here for the list of Winners of the 2012 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation