Guwahati: An aristocratic house in Ladakh which had been partially ruined is restored now and has won a UNESCO Asia-Pacific award for conservation. Along with the Ladakh project, rejuvenation of a university clock tower and a fountain in Mumbai have also jointly received the Honourable Mention. A project in China to has been able to win the UNESCO recognition.
The techniques used in the restoration of the LAMO Center in Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh region is used in salvaged and local building materials, and indigenous construction techniques. Modern amenities have also been used in the restoration to assure its ongoing use. A statement says, "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."
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."
The iconic Rajabai Clock Tower of Mumbai University and Ruttonsee Muljee Jetha Fountain which are under restoration currently have also received Honourable Mention.
Noted conservation architect Vikas Dilawari, whose earlier restoration projects in the city have also UNESCO heritage conservation awards, was overjoyed to hear this new announcement and 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."
He further added that apart from the architectural conservation, the challenge in the restoration of the project was to restore its water engineering too. The restoration project of the site took about a year and is now looked after by the KGA.
The UNESCO citation further mentioning the Award of Excellence won by Shijo-cho Ofune-hoko Float Machiya, of Kyoto in Japan, said, "The renewal of this early 20th-century machiya celebrates Kyoto culture through the safeguarding of the city's endangered wooden townhouse typology as well as the iconic annual Gion Festiva."
The UNESCO citation also says about the Rajabai Clock Tower and Library and said that it opens up a new chapter for one of the city's significant neo-Gothic landmarks.