Download ISC20C Heritage Alert Template Here
ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on 20th Century Heritage
The ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage (ISC20C) was established in 2005
to lead and sustain this area of ICOMOS activity conservation practice. The ISC20C deals with issues impacting Twentieth century heritage places arising from: Lack of recognition of their significance, promotion and celebration;
Specific construction technology
and materials; Particularity of original design ideas and social contexts;
Management and development pressures and
Neglectand aims to encourage the sustainability and survival of Twentieth Century
heritage places. Twentieth Century Heritage places include buildings, structures, urban ensembles and plans, cultural landscapes,
industrial and historic archaeology, tangible and intangible values. The Heritage Alert process uses the ISC20C’s professional and public networks to promote the conservation of
Twentieth Century Heritage and draw attention to the threats which it confronts and to promote good conservation solutions. The Committee
recognizes that publicizing and defining such matters requires a high degree of responsibility. The assessment of situations
leading to a Heritage Alert being issued by ICOMOS ISC20C will
therefore be pursued with ethical rigor and accuracy. The Committee is by its nature is multi-disciplinary, with expert members
The Heritage Alert objectives
The Committee regularly receives requests from affinity groups and the public for letters supporting efforts
to conserve or protect Twentieth Century Heritage properties which are under threat. To ensure the reputation and international
credibility of the ISC20C Heritage Alert response, a formal process has been established that will confirm that the
heritage significance and threat is well understood before an ISC20C Heritage Alert is issued. A template outlining the information needed to prepare
a Heritage Alert is attached and available for download on the ISC20C website. The ICOMOS ISC20C Heritage Alert project aims to:
the expertise of the members of the ISC20C committee and relevant national ICOMOS committee to assess the
significance of and threats to a property indicated to be at risk;
2. Confirm the facts of the threat and the heritage significance of the property;
Alert the public to the significance and
threat to the property at risk using ICOMOS networks to publicise the situation;
Selectively act to support the conservation
of the property at risk;
5. Maintain a list of properties at risk and follow the results of any conservation action for future
input to the ICOMOS Heritage at Risk Report.
The ICOMOS Heritage Alert system will be compatible with similar
programs currently promoted by other conservation non-profit organizations and NGOs. The opportunity to disseminate information
through the networks of partner organizations such as UAI, Docomomo and TICCIH gives further scope for publicity, and adds
mutual responsibility for the accuracy of the Heritage Alert assessment.
ISC20C Heritage Alert Advocacy Sub-Committee
small Advocacy Sub-Committee has been established within the ISC20C to handle requests for Heritage Alert action.
The committee is established on an annual rotation, renewable. It consists of two committee members, the ISC20C Secretary
General, the ISC20C president (or nominee) and includes an ICOMOS member who has been involved in a recent Heritage Alert.
A five step process includes broad but fast consultation by the Advocacy
1. Preliminary Assessment:
When a proposal for an alert is received, it is distributed to all sub-committee members for an initial confirmation
that the case is of international or national significance. If so, the Advocacy sub-committee chair (or acting chair), forwards
the Heritage Alert template to the proposer. and immediately invites comment and advice from the
relevant national committee of ICOMOS. The ICOMOS Secretary General is advised of the issuing of a Heritage Alert template.
Affiliated organizations such as Docomomo, TICCIH or UIA may also be advised and invited to investigate or take action,
such as joint support letters.
2. Advocacy Sub-committee recommendation:
The sub-committee Chair will receive the final template and associated documentation from the proposer Additional
or comparative material may be requested. The sub-committee will aim to assess and recommend on the Alert request by email
within five business days whenever possible and recommend action to the ISC20C president whose decisions are final. The ICOMOS
Secretary General and relevant ICOMOS National committee will be consulted regarding the proposed actions by the ISC20C President.
Action: The ISC20C Secretary General will prepare the necessary public documentation ISC20C letters
and media briefing material in consultation with the ICOMOS National Committee and ISC 20C President.
4. ICOMOS Action: The ICOMOS
Secretariat in Paris will facilitate the Heritage Alert being electronically forwarded to all ICOMOS members. ISC20C will prepare any letters
required, including the addresses, and they will be disseminated on ICOMOS letterhead by the ICOMOS Secretary General.
Action: The Heritage Alert template and associated documentation will be uploaded on the ISC20C Website
by the ISC20C Secretary General.
Assessing proposals for Heritage Alert
CRITERIA: The ISC20C Advocacy sub-committee
will respect established national and international guidelines for the significance assessment of heritage through analysis
of history, fabric, form, function, use and design intent. The committee recognizes that it is important
to conserve not just building fabric, form and function, but the ideas and philosophies behind a building, structure or landscape
and its use. The committee may need to request and assess additional materials that rely on original research. Other critical
information needed may include comparative knowledge of other similar or associated places.
2. SCALE OF
INVOLVEMENT: ICOMOS, as an international
organization will generally respond only to requests of international/national urgency and forward other requests to national
and local heritage organizations for action. Decisions as to when a Heritage Alert will be accompanied by official correspondence from ICOMOS
to relevant national authorities, or indeed an ICOMOS conservation campaign will be resolved between the ISC20C President,
the national committee ICOMOS President and the ICOMOS Secretary General.
3. TEMPLATE: The Heritage Alert assessment template will regularly updated , kept
simple and the response methodology streamlined to ensure active and timely participation from the ISC20C Advocacy sub-Committee,
since most members are working on a volunteer basis and have a limited capacity to respond to requests. The template is available
for download below.
4. ICOMOS WIDE SCOPE: The Heritage Alert system may well be useful to other
ICOMOS national or scientific Committees and indeed to ICOMOS generally.
RELATIONS: Ongoing relationships with
cooperating international organizations running similar “heritage at risk” programs are always carefully considered
to ensure that the ICOMOS Heritage Alerts are both timely and effective. Cooperating organizations include the International
Working Party for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites, and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement (DOCOMOMO),
The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH), and the International Union of Architects
International Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage
|Y-Block Government Buildings, Oslo, Norway
Government Buildings, Oslo, Norway
Heritage ALERT !
sacientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage (ISC20C) of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
has released an International Heritage Alert regarding the threatened demolition of the Y-block of the Government Quarter
in Oslo, Norway. This action supports the conservation initiatives of ICOMOS Norway and confirms international concern
about threats to the heritage sigificance of this important modern heritage complex in the center of Oslo.
ICOMOS Norway has
undertaken extensive research into this case, and confirms that the architectural and artistic merit of the Y-block, as well
as its historical significance, is uncontested. Architect Erling Viksjø conceived the high-rise H-block and the lower Y-block as whole, clearly connected to similar
contemporary headquarters for democratic purposes (e.g. United Nations, New York and UNESCO, Paris). The high-rise H-block
was erected in 1958 with pioneering treatment of the sandblasted natural concrete and integrated wors by merited modernist
artists, including contributions by Pablo Picasso. In 1969, the building complex was completed by the addition of the
sculptural Y-block. Its three curved wings define three urban spaces of individual character. Picasso's "Fishermen"
in one of the facades is an epitome of public art integrated within this extraordinary complex.
Download Press Release Y-Block
Download Heritage Alert Y-Block
Download Letter of Appeal to Norwegian Government
|Izumo Shrine, Shimane, Japan
Administration Building at the Izumo Shrine, Shimane, Japan
Heritage ALERT !
One of the leading International organizations for the protection of 20th Century
Cultural Heritage, the International Council on monuments and Site International Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century
heritage (ICOMOS ISC20C), has expressed its concern about the alarming situation now facing the Administration Building at
the Izumo Shrine, in Shimane, Japan.
ICOMOS ISC20C believes that a solution to the Shrine Administration building's problem could also be found if given further
expert assessment. The committee has strongly encouraged Shrine authorities to seek a positive conservation outcome
for this item of Japan's modern heritage. The enduring architectural significance of the building has also been recognized
by heritage authorities such as Docomomo Japan, which in 2005, identified the Administration Building of the Great Shring
of Izumo as one of the 100 most important buildings representing modern architecture in Japan. The architectural and
artistic merit of the building, as well as its historical significance is uncontested, however the building has not yet been
well documented. The ICOMOS ISC20C has asked that the Shrine seek an improved technical solution to the problem that
would allow the building to remain and continue in a useful purpose for the Shrine.
Download PRESS RELEASE Here (Japanese)
Download PRESS RELEASE Here (English)
Download Letter of Appeal to (Rev.) Takamasa Senge March 15 2016
Download Letter of Appeal by Society of Architectural Historians
Download Letter of Appeal Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Download Letter of Appeal Mexican 20th Century Committee for Modern Architecture
Download Letter of Appeal ICOMOS Mexico
|International Congress Center (ICC) Berlin
Congress Center (ICC), Berlin, Germany
HERITAGE ALERT !
The ICC Berlin is a landmark of former West Berlin.
Its relevance has long been accepted by the scientific community in Germany. Important institutions (the Architectural Association
of Berlin, the Bund Heimat und Umwelt in Deutschland, the Monument Council of Berlin, the Association of Conservationists
in Germany) have argued publicly for the listing of the ICC.
Based on these regional and national activities ICOMOS expressed the international appreciation
by adopting a resolution at the General Assembly of ICOMOS in Florence in November 2014. The basis of this resolution was
a 17-page ICOMOS Heritage Alert prepared by ICOMOS Germany. It consists of a detailed description that, similar to a justification
for listing, addresses all major aspects of the building and its monument value: From its historic value as testimony to the
Cold War to the largely authentic state of conservation, the Heritage Alert characterises the building’s architectural-historical
value and also names the organisations supporting the Alert. The resolution sums up the central points of the Alert.
By referring to earlier initiatives to save heritage
of the 20th century, it emphasises the international relevance of the ICC. Furthermore, it calls for the listing of this building
and its use as a cultural and conference centre. In a letter (to which the resolution is attached) sent to the Governing Mayor
of Berlin in January 2015 the President of ICOMOS International offered “to support you in the safeguarding of this
historic property of European significance”.
CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Kerstin Wittmann-Englert, ICOMOS Germany, ICOMOS ISC20C,email: email@example.com
ICC Berlin Press Relase September 2015
ICOMOS ICC Berlin Draft Resolution 2014
ICOMOS Heritage Alert ICC Berlin 2015
ICOMOS ISC20C Letter of Appeal to Mayor of Berlin September 2015
|BPO Monument Building, Montgemont, France
Monument Building in Montgemont, France
HERITAGE ALERT !
July 27, 2015
The BPO's building
in Montgemont, an iconic piece of contemporary architecture and an exceptional construction in Rennes' countryside, is now
being seriously threated by a demolition permit.
It is time to act and react. At stake is the urgent
need to save a major building of the 20th century.
Conceived by architects Odile Decq and Benoit Cornette,
the BPO's building brought international recognication to its authors with a Golden Lion at the Venice Bienale in 1996. Their
innovative approach of mixing architecture, engineering and industry in search of a new spatiality was highly acclaimed at
the time. Technically exceptional with its architectural experimentations, the BPO's building embodies the "high
tech" movement at the same level as the HSBC Tower in Hong Kong or the Lloyd's Headquarters in London. With its
suspended double glazing facades, the BPO's Building represents an exceptional collaboration between architects and engineers.
Peter RIce's team within RFR found, in Rennes' countryside, an experimental playground like no other, just after the
Villette's glass house project.
The Rise of such a piece of art in the French landscape, so rich in details,
was a real historic event by itw way of totally renewing the tertiary architecture language and standing out as an alternative
to the banality of filling up suburban zone with boxes of no architecture interest. Unfortunately, the BPO's building is not
an isolated case. For some time now, several major buildings, from moder to contemporary history, are in real danger
and are victims of financial analysis and economic profits. Yet, those buildings are most often reusable. In the
BPO's case, this is obvious when you consider its 7 hectares and their incredible potential. So why demolish it ? Why
not reflect on its reusability instead ?
An international emergency has been launched into a call for action - it is critical
to save this building from is promised demolition, and by extension, arise the issue of the conservation of this 20th century
icon, which is different from the usual patrimonial sites, but nonetheless precious to conserve.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Isabelle Palmi, Director - ICOMOS France, ICOMOS ISC20C,email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Heritage Alert - BPO's Monument Building in Montgemont
Heritage Alert Appendix - BPO's Monument Building in Montgemont
|Shukhov Radio Tower, Moscow, Russia
Tower, Moscow, Russia
NEWS ALERT !
March 16, 2014
One of the leading International
organizations for the protection of 20th Century Cultural Heritage – the International Council on Monuments and Sites
International Scientific Committee on 20th Century Heritage (ICOMOS ISC20C) and the International
Scientific Committee on the Analysis and Restoration of Structures of Architectural Heritage (ISCARSH), wishes
to express its concern regarding the alarming situation now facing the future of Shukhov Radio
Tower, designed by Vladimir Shukhov in 1919-1922, in Moscow, Russia. The unique structure is a globally famous
masterpiece of the 20th Century, showcasing Russian engineering skills and architecture, yet it is threated with dismantling
The ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Twentieth Century Heritage and the International Scientific
Committee on the Analysis and Restoration of Structures of Architectural Heritage have written to the Hon. Vladimir Putin,
President of the Russian Federation, requesting that authorities take direct steps to prevent further neglect and stagnation
of this uniquely Russian resource of the Twentieth Century. We are concerned that the Ministry of Communication's proposed
dismantling and removal of the tower will lead to a fatal loss of its authenticity and integrity. We believe that thorough
investigation on the basis of international experience would lead to an elaboration of a full-scale restoration project, which
will bring benefit to Russia and world culture.
We note that
the Shukhov Tower is an official monument of Regional significance, used by the 'Russian TV and Radio Systems' (RTRS) and
the Russian Ministry of Communication. The idea to reerect the Radio Tower in a different place in Moscow (being in
its nature an immoveable property), contradicts the purpose of its dedication as a 'monument' under the National heritage
legislation, and it also endangers its internationally important heritage values.
We note that the Shukhov Tower has been recommended for inclusion in Russia's tentative World Heritage in
'Moscow Declaration on the Preservation of 20th Century Cultural Heritage', 2006.
CONTACT FOR FURTHER
Sheridan Burke, President, ICOMOS ISC20C, SheridanB@gml.com.au
Gunny Harboe, Chair, ICOMOS ISC20C Heritage Alerts
Stephen Kelley, President, ICOMOS ISCARSAH, email@example.com
ICOMOS ISC20C ISCARSAH Letter of Appeal to Russian Federation March 16, 2014
ICOMOS ISC20C Madrid Document Russian
Docomomo Letter of Appeal March 2014
|Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia
Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia
July 22, 2013
One of the leading International organizations for the protection of 20th Century Cultural Heritage –
the International Council on Monuments and Sites International Scientific Committee on 20th Century Heritage (ICOMOS
ISC20C), wishes to express its concern regarding the alarming situation now facing the future
of Sydney’s Darling Harbour Precinct (Darling Harbour). Built for the 1988 Australian Bi-Centennial
Celebration, Darling Harbour is currently under threat from a government plan to redevelop a large part of the area for commercial
and residential development. The NSW Government Development Proposal SSD57521 for ‘Sydney International Convention,
Exhibition & Entertainment Precinct’ (SICEEP) outlines the redevelopment of the convention center, exhibition center,
entertainment facilities and associated public domain works. In addition the Sydney Entertainment Centre
is to be demolished.
The ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Twentieth century heritage has written
to the Hon. Barry O’Farrell MP, NSW Premier and Minister of Western Sydney; the Hon. Andrew Stoner MP, Deputy Premier;
and the Hon. Brad Hazzard, MP NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, requesting that they suspend the current proposal
and engage in a process to understand the 20th Century heritage values of the site and subsequent potential retention of the
Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre complex and Darling Harbour as a whole.
The site slated for demolition and redevelopment has significant 20th century heritage
values. It includes the Sydney Exhibition Centre designed by Philip Cox, and Sydney Convention Centre designed by John Andrews,
two of Australia’s most prominent architects of the late 20th Century. Also slated for demolition is the waterfront
pubic park known as Tumbalong Park with its “Urban Stream” and significant other landscaping.
The scale of the proposed ‘Sydney International
Convention Centre, Exhibition & Entertainment Precinct’ redevelopment is much larger than the existing development
and will overwhelm the surviving 19th century historic buildings in the area and significantly compromise and reduce the harbor
side landscape setting. Public space designed as a “place for people” will be alienated.
Beside the architectural and heritage loss, the demolition of the
major buildings and most of the parkland is not environmentally sustainable. The demolition, rather than the alteration and
augmentation of the existing facilities, is a departure from the widely acknowledged commitment of Australia and the Sydney
Harbour Foreshore Authority to the protection and long-term conservation of its cultural heritage and historic sites of all
periods, whether ancient or modern.
The ICOMOS ISC20C urged the New South Wales government to suspend the current proposal and to engage in a process to
understand the 20th Century heritage values of the site and subsequent potential retention of the Sydney Exhibition and Convention
Centre complex and Darling Harbour as a whole, including the Robert Woodward-designed Spiral Water Feature, the ‘Urban
Stream’ Water Feature, Tumbalong Park, and Chinese Garden of Friendship.
heritage values of this site and the potential international importance of the work of Philip Cox, John Andrews, Robert Woodward
and Ove Arup should be given careful and comprehensive reconsideration as a part of the proposal.
The ICOMOS SIC20C has offered to discuss these issues further with the NSW government to achieve a more balanced
approach to the desire for new development within a heritage precinct that is significant for its late 20th Century design.
The international Heritage Alert process uses the ICOMOS ISC20C’s international professional and public
networks to investigate requests for international action where potentially significant heritage places are threatened, by
using external experts to assess research and comparative values, in order to achieve a rigorous, independent assessment of
The Heritage Alert will be uploaded to the ISC20C website http://icomos-isc20c.org/id3.html and distributed through the networks of ICOMOS, DOCOMOMO International, and the International Union of Architects.
The Heritage Alert review was undertaken by ISC20C members from Russia, the USA, UK, Sweden, Australia and
South Africa, who have engaged with local professionals and have been closely monitoring the risk situation for Darling Harbour.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gunny Harboe, Chair, ICOMOS
ISC20C Heritage Alerts sub-committee, email@example.com
Darling Harbour Heritage Alert Press Release July 2013
Darling Harbour Heritage Alert issued by ICOMOS ISC on 20th Century
ICOMOS ISC20C Letter of Appeal to NSW Government July 12, 2013
|Novartis Sandoz Headquarters, Rueil-Malmaison, France
Sandoz Headquarters, Rueil-Malmaison, France
July 19, 2013
The leading international
organizations for heritage protection of the 20th Century Heritage have expressed
their intense concern about the proposed demolition of the Novartis France Office complex, located in Rueil Malmaison. The
buildings were designed by famous architects Zehrfuss and Burckhardt assisted by the ingenious constructive thinking of Jean
Prouvé with interiors by Charlotte Perriand, all set within the remains of the gardens of the 17th Century castle of Richelieu.
The President of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, Mr Gustavo Araoz
has written to the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Ms Aurélie Filippetti.about the case. The ICOMOS Twentieth
Century International Scientific Committee (ISC20C), together with the International Working Party for Documentation and Conservation
of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement (Docomomo) has also written to the President of Novartis AG,
Mr. Patrice Zagame and CEO of Novartis AG, Mr Joseph Jimenez requesting a halt to demolition and seeking a meeting to discuss
options to resolve the situation.
The threat to this important building complex was drawn to ICOMOS’s attention
by citizens of France and wider interests; with increasing voice in recent weeks. As a result, ICOMOS the International Scientific
Committee for Twentieth Century Heritage assessed the situation and has now issued an international Heritage Alert. The case
was reviewed by ISC20C members from Sweden, South Africa, the USA and Australia, who engaged with local citizens, examining
the available documentary evidence. It has concluded that there would be serious adverse impacts on the Novartis France office
complex and the modern heritage of France should demolition proceed. .
The ISC20C believes that further consideration of how
to integrate conservation objectives with Novartis current workplace and code requirements could resolve a better outcome
for the modern heritage of France. The Novartis Board could thus demonstrate responsive corporate responsibility to the mounting
national and international concern about threats to this outstanding example of the architectural heritage of the twentieth
century of France and indeed to modern architecture internationally.
The Novartis Headquarters buildings are not only a testimony
of their time, but also a lesson in heritage practice for the architects of today, and considered to be a good example in
France of the successful transplantation of contemporary architecture in historically sensitive sites.
The president of the ICOMOS
International Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage, Ms Sheridan Burke, urged the president of Novartis and the
CEO to ”reconsider the current proposal to eliminate its adverse impacts by retaining and re-using the buildings
to ensure that the heritage significance of the complex as awhole is retained as one of France’s landmarks of the 20th Century architecture, adapted and maintained in itshistoric precinct setting”.
following national and international organisations support the international Héritage Alert action: Docomomo international,
ICOMOS, ICOMOS France, Docomomo France, la Société pour la Protection des Paysages et de l’Esthétique
de la France (SPPEF), Vieilles Maisons Françaises, Paris Historique.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Contact for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christiane Schmuckle Mollard, France, Voting member ICOMOS ISC20C: email@example.com
Burke, Australia, President ICOMOS ISC20C
Press release issued by the ICOMOS
Novartis Heritage Alert by ICOMOS ISC on 20th Century Heritage
Letter by the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on 20th century heritage to Novartis, 8 July 2013
Letter by the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on 20th century heritage to Novartis, 18 July 2013
Letter by ICOMOS President to French Minister of Culture
April 2, 2013
The globally known masterpiece of the Russian architectural Avant-garde
the Melnikov House built by Konstantin Melnikov in 1927-1929 is under threat of serious damage to its structural stability
and historic fabric due to the on-going lack of conservation treatment and the immediate threat now posed by the proposed
development on an adjacent site, which endangers the house’s internationally important heritage values.
The leading International organizations for heritage protection of the 20th
Century Heritage have expressed their intense concern about the alarming situation now facing the future of the Melnikov House
in Moscow to the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Putin.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites Twentieth Century International
Scientific Committee (ICOMOS ISC20C) together with the International Working Party for Documentation and Conservation
of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement (Docomomo) and the International Union of Architects (UIA)
have written also to the Mayor of Moscow Mr. Sergei Sobyanin and to Mr. Dmitry Medvedev,
Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, about the case.
This globally known masterpiece of
the Russian architectural Avant-garde built by Konstantin Melnikov in 1927-1929 is under threat of serious damage to its structural
stability and historic fabric. “This is due to the on-going lack of conservation action and the immediate threat
now posed by development adjacent, which endangers this internationally important heritage building”, said the
Australian President of the ICOMOS ISC20C, Ms Sheridan Burke.“The eyes of the world are on Russia
in this important case, and we must now appeal directly to the President for intervention”, said Ms Ana Tostoes, the Portuguese President of Docomomo International. “We
believe that the outstanding heritage significance of Melnikov’s work is at serious risk of damage”, added
the French President of the UIA, Mr Albert Dubler. There is an urgent need for a clear conservation-based strategy
to be developed by Russian authorities to direct the future conservation and management of this uniquely Russian contribution
to global architectural heritage.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Sheridan Burke, Australia, President ICOMOS ISC20C
Gunny Harboe, USA Chair, ICOMOS ISC20C Heritage Alerts sub-committee, email:
See link to the publication of all
documents on the Melnikov House Heritage Alert on the Russian net:
ICOMOS ISC20C Melnikov Press Release, April 2, 2013
ICOMOS ISC20C Melnikov Heritage Alert
ICOMOS Letter of Appeal to Russian Federation
International Appeal on Works of Konstantin Melnikov
West Wing, Central Government Offices on Government Hill, Hong Kong
SAR, Built 1959
June 13, 2012
International Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage (ISC20C) of the International Council on Monuments and Site
(ICOMOS) has released a Heritage Alert regarding the threated demolition of the West Wing of the Central Government Offices
(CGO) in Hong Kong, China.
Built in the late
1950s, the Central Government Office is a significant architectural component of the Government Hill historic precinct
and the ICOMOS ISC20C is requesting that the government of the Hong Kong SAR urgently reconsider the currently proposed redevelopment
for the site that would build a new 32 story tower where the West Wing of the CGO stands currently.
The ISC20C feels that a strong case can be made for the architectural and historic
values of the CGO as a whole equally meeting the criteria for heritage listing, within a Special Protected Zone. Recent
research on the architectural history of the West Wing suggests that its importance as a integral component of the group needs
further consideration in the adaptive re-use of the government precinct. The preparation of a Conservation Management
Plan, including a thorough examination of reuse options for the entire complex is needed to inform any decision on the future
redevelopment of the site.
The Heritage Alert process uses the ICOMOS ISC20C’s
international professional and public networks to investigate requests for international action where potentially significant
heritage places are threatened, by using external experts to assess research and comparative values, in order to achieve a
rigorous, independent assessment of the situation.
such as the CGO, where the heritage values of all three buildings are well-proven, a Heritage Alert can be used to draw international
attention to the threat and to promote good conservation solutions. The Heritage Alert will be uploaded to the ISC20C
website and distributed through the networks of ICOMOS, DOCOMOMO International, and the International Union of Architects.
It will be updated as further information comes to hand. The Heritage Alert review was undertaken by ISC20C members
from Sweden, South Africa, the USA and Australia, who engaged with local citizens and reviewed the documentary evidence.
the architectural and heritage loss, the demolition of the West Wing of the CGO would be seen as a sign of departure from
the widely acknowledged commitment of China to the protection and long-term conservation of its cultural heritage and historic
sites of all periods, be they ancient or modern. We
urge the SAR government to suspend the current proposal and to engage in a process to ensure that the heritage
significance of the Central Government Office complex as a whole, including the West Wing, is retained as one of Hong Kong’s
landmarks of 20th Century architecture in its historic precinct setting of Government Hill. For more information,
please visit: www.governmenthill.org
Sheridan Burke, Australia, President ICOMOS ISC20C
Gunny Harboe, USA Chair, ICOMOS ISC20C Heritage Alerts sub-committee
VIDEO PRESS RELEASE by President ISC20C, Ms Sheridan Burke, regarding West Wing of the Central Government Offices in Hong
ICOMOS ISC20C Hong Kong CGO Press Release
ICOMOS Heritage Alert CGO Hong Kong 12 June 2012
ICOMOS DOCOMOMO UIA Letter of Appeal June 2012
ICOMOS ISC20C reply regarding CGO Hong Kong 17 August 2012
ICOMOS ISC20C reply regarding CGO West Wing 13 November 2012