The Blue House cluster in Wan Chai won the Award of Excellence, the highest in four categories, in this year’s UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
It was the first time Hong Kong received the award, hk01.com reports.
An international panel of conservation experts was impressed by the government-funded project, calling it a “truly inclusive approach to urban conservation” where tenants, workers and conservationists cooperate in one of the world’s most high-pressure real estate markets.
A spokesperson for the Commissioner for Heritage’s Office said the award has been a great honor and motivation for the team as it confirms their efforts in cultural heritage conservation and proves that the concept of revitalization has reached an international level.
At the same time, the award shows the “Good Neighbor Scheme” is a plausible.
The government-owned three-building cluster located in Stone Nullah Lane was built in the early 1920s. It consists of the Blue House, the Yellow House, a Grade 3 structure built around the same time, and the Orange House, which was built in the mid-1950s.
The Antiquities Advisory Board named the Blue House as a Grade I historic building in 2000. It is the only place where a balcony can still be found on a Tong building.
The project started about four years ago and is the first time that Hong Kong has tried to revitalize a building while allowing the tenants to remain after the renovation.
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