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Perth housing precinct wins top UNESCO heritage award

November 7, 2017

One of the houses in the Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct, in Perth. Photo: WA State Heritage

AN enclave of workers’ houses built during the gold rush in inner-city Perth has received international heritage recognition.

The Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct, between Lake Street and William Street, north of Perth’s CBD, has been recognised in UNESCO’s 2017 Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

The 58 cottages represent a modest but historically important housing group which have been carefully restored by individual homeowners, inspired by the renovation of a single house.

The Federation Queen Anne semi-detached cottages had fallen into disrepair over years, but were revived with financial support from the City of Vincent and the local Heritage Council, along with technical guidance from conservation professionals.

The original architectural character and material palette of each red brick building was carefully recovered.

WA Heritage Minister David Templeman said the accolade had shone an international heritage spotlight on an inspirational project.

The side view of an extension to one of the Perth homes. Photo: One of the houses in the Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct, in Perth. Photo: WA State Heritage The side view of an extension to one of the Perth homes. Photo: WA State Heritage

”The precinct shared this prestigious award with Shanghai’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, which illustrates the calibre of projects honoured,” Mr Templeman said.

”This is a tremendous story of a group of owners who have inspired each other to restore and adapt their homes for contemporary living, while revitalising the streetscape. This was no mean task as many homes were in a poor condition due to being built on swamp land.

”The Heritage Council contributed more than $700,000 to the conservation of these homes through the Heritage Grants Program, showing the value of this program.”

WA projects recognised
The Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct is the sixth WA project in six years that has received a UNESCO heritage award.

The precinct has received several gongs in recent years, including the 2016 Western Australian Heritage Awards.

The award’s judges, in their citation, described the project as: “An inspirational story of how individuals can work together, by sharing knowledge and encouraging others, to restore and adapt their 1890s workers’ cottages, thus returning this significant streetscape to its original state.

One of the properties before renovation work began. Photo: One of the houses in the Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct, in Perth. Photo: WA State Heritage One of the properties before renovation work began. Photo: WA State Heritage

“This award is dedicated to past and present owners, their heritage consultants and the City of Vincent,” the judges said.

The project is the only 2017 UNESCO Heritage Award winner in Australia.

Projects in China, India, New Zealand, Iran and Singapore were recognised.

The citation for this year’s Award of Excellence went to the Blue House Cluster in Hong Kong SAR, China, a 20th-century shophouse block conserved from urban sprawl through the work of an alliance of tenants to social workers to preservationists.

Perth’s Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct in Perth joined Holy Trinity Cathedral in Shanghai, as the only UNESCO Award of Distinction winner.

Other category winners included the Royal Bombay Opera House in Mumbai, India, the Persian Gulf University in Bulshehr, Iran, and the Great Hall and Clock Tower Buildings in the Christchurch Arts Centre, New Zealand.

The UNESCO Heritage Awards jury selected projects from 43 submissions, including 31 in the conservation category and 12 for the new design category.

Further information about the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation and this year’s winning entries can be found at: bangkok.unesco.org/content/winning-projects

The Blue House Cluster, Hong Kong, was awarded the UNESCO heritage Award of Excellence. Photo: UNESCO Heritage Awards The Blue House Cluster, Hong Kong, was awarded the UNESCO heritage Award of Excellence. Photo: UNESCO Heritage Awards

2017 UNESCO Heritage Awards winners

Award of Excellence:
 Blue House Cluster, Hong Kong SAR, China
Award of Distinction:
 Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct, Perth, Australia
 Holy Trinity Cathedral, Shanghai, China
Award of Merit:
 Christ Church, Mumbai, India
 Royal Bombay Opera House, Mumbai, India
 Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam, India
 Great Hall and Clock Tower Buildings, Arts Centre, Christchurch, New Zealand
Honourable Mention:
 Bomonjee Hormarjee Wadia Fountain and Clock Tower, Mumbai, India
 Gateways of Gohad Fort, Gohad, India
 Haveli Dharampura, Delhi, India
 Wellington Fountain, Mumbai, India
 Aftab Cultural House, Isfahan, Iran
 Cathedral of the Good Shepherd and Rectory Building, Singapore
New Design in Heritage Contexts:
 Jingdezhen Ceramic Industry Museum, Jingdezhen, China
 Macha Village, Gansu Province, China
 Persian Gulf University – Faculty of Art & Architecture, Bulshehr, Iran

 

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