UNESCO 2004 Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards

Two Australian heritage projects have received prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards, with a remote rural church in Western Australia picking up one of only four top honours.West Australian architect John Taylor received an Award of Distinction for the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Mullewa, WA. Other Awards of Distinction went to Lakhpat village in India and the St Ascension Cathedral in Kazakhstan, with the top award going to the Baltit Fort in Pakistan.

The UNESCO media release noted:
Award of Distinction winner, Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was praised for restoring the distinct rustic character of this significant historic building, the focal point of the rural community of Mullewa. The judges commended the thorough scholarship about the local context and the collected works of the building’s priest-architect Monsignor John Cyril Hawes, which guided the sensitive conservation approach. The judges noted that the careful restoration of the historic building fabric, including the magnificent stained glass windows, and the removal of inappropriate newer elements, has reinstated the building’s intended spirituality and that the commendable technical execution of the project, along with its detailed documentation, sets a standard for the restoration of similar buildings in the region.

In Sydney, the 190-year-old Female Orphan School also received an Honorable Mention. The jury said the conservation and adaptation of the school had “revitalized one of the most important surviving buildings from the early period of European settlement” and ensured that the historic structure would be used for years to come. The building is currently used as part of the University of Western Sydney’s Parramatta campus.

A panel of international conservation experts in architecture, urban planning, heritage conservation and landscape design conducted the selection process. The jury panel noted that the range of proposals received this year point to the increasing momentum and level of conservation in the Asia-Pacific region. All winning entries demonstrated sound understanding of the issues of conservation in relation to the cultural, social, historical, and architectural significance of the building or complex. In addition, all award-winning entries had an important impact in terms of stimulating further conservation works and all made a contribution to cultural continuity in their respective communities.

Further information about the Heritage Awards and this year’s winning entries can be found at:

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2003 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards

The 2003 UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation were announced recently. A total of 22 entries were submitted from nine countries in Asia Pacific. The entries included five religious buildings, five institutions, two residential buildings, four commercial projects, three urban conservation programs, one memorial, one bridge and one botanical garden.