While the Ladakh project won in the category of Award of Distinction under the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation, rejuvenation of a university clock tower and a fountain in Mumbai have jointly received Honourable Mention, along with a project in China.
The LAMO Center in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region was chosen for its systematic restoration project that used salvaged and local building materials, and indigenous construction techniques while adroitly introducing modern amenities to assure its ongoing use, UNESCO Bangkok said in a statement. “The recovery of the aristocratic house from a state of partial ruin establishes an important precedent for conserving the non-monumental urban fabric of Leh Old Town,” it said. In its citation for the award for the Ladakh project, the jury said, “A dynamic programme of arts activities enlivens its space for the benefit of both local residents and visitors.”
“Strategically located at the foot of the Leh palace, the restored structure contributes significantly to the continuity of the historic townscape dating back to the 17th century,” it said. From Mumbai, the restoration projects of the iconic Rajabai Clock Tower of Mumbai University and Ruttonsee Muljee Jetha Fountain, both belonging to the colonial-era have received Honourable Mention.
Noted conservation architect Vikas Dilawari, whose earlier restoration projects in the city have also UNESCO heritage conservation awards, was ecstatic after the announcement. He said, ‘It was a great project as it was a public-private-partnership model, between the MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) and KGA (Kala Ghoda Authority) to restore neglected urban landscape, especially a city fountain’.