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Separate Prison project recognised with award for heritage architecture

24/06/2009

Stage 1 of the conservation and reconstruction of Port Arthur Separate Prison has been recognised at the 2009 Tasmanian Architecture Awards.

Architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer were given the award for Heritage
Architecture for the project, which represented the historically significant convict structure to be a focal part of the experience of the World-Heritage nominated Port Arthur site.

The awards jury chair, Elvio Brianese, said “The chilling evocation of life within this reform machine, through the disarmingly austere beauty of its architecture, is provocative and disturbing”.

The jury's citation said 'this remarkable project has been carried out with consummate skill by the architect and conservation project team. It is provocative and disturbing; both through the chilling evocation of life within this reform machine, and through the disarmingly austere beauty of its architecture. By reinstating the curved perimeter walls and rendering them in original white, the historic structure has been transformed from a permeable ruin to a taut object, dissociated from all around it and enclosing a precise series of spaces – allowing the visitor to imagine their regimes of measurement and control. This space is punctuated by bells and divided by masks."

Stage 1 of the Separate Prison works was re-opened last August by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Tasmania's Premier David Bartlett.

The 2009 Tasmanian Architecture Awards were presented by the Governor, the Honourable Peter Underwood, at Moorilla Estate on Saturday June 20.

An exhibition of all entries is showing at the IXL Atrium in Hunter St Hobart until Sunday June 28, before travelling to the Design Centre in Launceston and the State Library in Burnie.

Separate Prison project recognised with award for heritage architecture

The Separate Prison from the air

Separate Prison project recognised with award for heritage architecture

Interior of the Separate Prison - Central Hall

Separate Prison project recognised with award for heritage architecture

The restored A-wing