Purcell are delighted that the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts has won the Asia-Pacific 'Award of ‘Excellence’ for Cultural Heritage Conservation by UNESCO. This is the highest achievement award available. As conservation architects for the project, Purcell researched the history and significance of what was originally the Central Police Station compound and identified the areas that should be retained, and the scope for change.

The jury praised the win on the project, adding:

“The transformation of the former Central Police Station into a world-class centre for heritage and arts has created a vibrant new civic space in the heart of the city’s central business district. The project tackled a complex site with multiple layers of history dating back to the mid-19th century, enhancing its legibility and opening it up to the public. The technical quality of the restoration work is standard-setting on an international level, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of the historic fabric.”

“Innovative architectural and engineering solutions are underpinned by meticulous investigation and rigorous conservation principles. The centre’s diverse and creative programming enlivens the historic space with engaging heritage interpretation programmes and contemporary arts and culture. Against tremendous commercial real estate pressures, the successful realization of Tai Kwun stands as a testimony to Hong Kong SAR’s commitment to heritage.”

The award comes after the nomination of Tai Kwun for a prestigious World Architecture Festival Award (Completed Buildings – Culture) of which the winners will be announced in December.