Tzannes Associates’ transformation of the old Kent Brewery building at Sydney’s Central Park Precinct has been recognised by the premier institution for culture and heritage in the world.

The innovative adaptive reuse project, now named Irving Street Brewery, received the Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts at UNESCO’s 2016 Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards, announced recently in Bangkok.  

The project, which was also the recipient of the Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage at the 2015 National Architecture Awards, was one of 13 recognised by UNESCO at its annual awards program, which was established in 2000 to acknowledge the successful restoration of structures of heritage value in the Asia Pacific region.

The former brewery is now the home for Central Park’s precinct-wide trigeneration plant and, in a unique response to the need to accommodate the system’s massive heat extraction devices, features a striking architectural roof of six curved cooling towers dressed in a custom-designed zinc-mesh.

Like they were in the 2015 National Architecture Awards, the cooling towers and the injection of the trigeneration system in general were given significant emphasis in the UNESCO jury citation, who noted that the building will serve to be a yardstick for repurposing industrial heritage buildings in the future.

“By juxtaposing 21st-century industrial aesthetics against a 20th-century industrial building vocabulary, the design provides a clever solution to concealing the new cooling towers while paying homage to the soaring original smokestack,” the jury notes.

“Anchoring a revitalised new urban hub, the project is a prototype for repurposing industrial heritage in a sustainable forward-looking manner.”

A restoration project of a sacred Japanese shrine initiated by the World Monuments Fund received the program’s top prize—the Award of Excellence, while other projects from China, India, Iran, Japan and Pakistan were awarded distinctions, merits and honourable mentions.

You can read more about Tzannes’ transformation of the Kent Brewery building here.