Separate Prison project wins Henry Hunter Prize for Architecture

June 20, 2011

The major conservation project at Port Arthur’s Separate Prison has again been recognised with a prestigious award for architecture.

The Henry Hunter Triennial Prize for Architecture was awarded to project architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer for their work on Stage One of the project on Saturday night, 18 June, at the Tasmanian Architecture Awards.

In making the award, the Jury made mention of a number unique aspects of this very special project.

  • The Port Arthur Separate Prison project lifts the benchmark for conservation of convict structures and heritage sites in Australia.
  • The site’s infamous and chequered history required the project to command an unwavering response to the principles of the Australian ICOMOS Charter for places of cultural significance (The Burra Charter), in addition to the high expectations relating to the interpretation of same.
  • The project team’s considered approach allows the building to remain as a ruin, showing its original fabric while providing other parts as restoration for interpretation.|
  • The result is an exemplary work that manages a balance between the competing demands of commercial visitation and detailing authenticity.

The Henry Hunter Triennial Prize is presented triennially for architecture that involves the recycling or conservation of existing buildings.

It is open to the award winners in the Heritage category from the preceding three years. Tonkin Zulaikha Greer was awarded for Heritage Architecture in 2009.

The award commemorates Henry Hunter (1832-1892), one of the leading architects of early Tasmania.

Visitors at Port Arthur's Separate Prison

Visitors at Port Arthur’s Separate Prison

The Chapel inside the Separate Prison at Port Arthur Historic Site

The Chapel inside the Separate Prison at Port Arthur Historic Site

Port Arthur's Separate Prison

Port Arthur’s Separate Prison