The Phraya Si Thammathirat Residence in Thai capital Bangkok has received the Award of Merit from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a UNESCO statement said Tuesday.
The restoration of the early-20th-century residence in Bangkok' s Pathumwan district is "a prime example of multiple stakeholder commitment to the preservation of a building with significant heritage value," said the statement posted on the website of the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, which is based in Bangkok.
The owner, Thailand's Crown Property Bureau, and tenant, the Thai-Chinese Education and Culture Foundation, enlisted conservation experts to research the history of the building, a process that shed light on the broader context of the heritage site and revealed its Arts and Crafts-style decoration, notably a suite of intricate mural paintings and decorative elements, it said.
The project renewed the landscape setting and exterior finishes and reinstated the rich interior treatment of the former private house, which is now housing the Sitabutr Bamrung School, it said.
After restoration, the property enjoys "a vibrant role as a center for cultural exchange and education for the Thai-Chinese community."
Four other projects from Australia, India, New Zealand and Singapore have also been given the Awards of Merit, one of the five categories of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation program recognizes the efforts of private individuals and organizations that have successfully restored and conserved structures and buildings of heritage value in the region.
By recognizing private efforts to restore and adapt historic properties, the Awards aim to encourage other property owners to undertake conservation projects within their communities, either independently or by seeking public-private partnerships.
This year, a total of 14 projects from 10 countries have been recognized in the Awards, which also include the Award of Excellence, Award of Distinction, Honorable Mention and Jury Commendation for Innovation Winners.
A panel of international conservation experts met in June to review 46 entries from across the Asia-Pacific region, the statement said.
The restoration of the Saryazd Citadel in Iran has been honored with an Award of Distinction.
"Although there was no Award of Excellence given this year, there was an overall increase in projects awarded which gives hope for a general rise in the standards of heritage conservation by non-state actors within the Asia-Pacific region," said Tim Curtis, Chair of the Jury and Chief of the Culture Unit, UNESCO Bangkok.