Click here to learn more about the Impact Organisation
A hundred years ago Rangoon (now Yangon) was the beating heart of Burma (now Myanmar), a Southeast Asian city unlike any other. Leafy, pedestrian avenues drew visitors and locals through street cafes and vendors into the grand columns of the city’s downtown department stores and galleries. These vast buildings and the spaces between them provided homes for the work, leisure and life of the city. Yangon today is still endowed with spectacular architecture from its grand colonial buildings to its gold-clad pagodas, wide streets, a waterway, and a reputation around the world. However, after decades of isolation, sanctions and destruction, the people of Myanmar need jobs, skills, education and a sense of national identity. Yangon has been exposed to global markets almost overnight, and many of the original properties are now being demolished to make way for modern buildings. In an environment where legislation is still being developed and market forces prevail, new development is happening abruptly, often distorting urban fabric and uprooting the local community. If Yangon continues on this path it will be an unsustainable city as has already happened to many of its sister cities across Asia.
Yangon’s rich Colonial heritage remains one of the best surviving examples in the world, representing a valuable asset for the city – used thoughtfully this can be utilised to provide valuable amenities for the growing urban population, whilst at the same time driving sustainable economic development of one of Asia’s poorest countries. Following the successful renovation of 491-501 Merchant Street, the Yangon Regional Government has asked Turquoise Mountain to to undertake the revitalization of the old Tourist Burma building to create Myanmar Aswe, a centre for tourism and culture at the heart of Yangon. The renovation of the former Ministry of Hotels and Tourism Building would create a highly visible landmark that will spur wider regeneration and prove the viability of Downtown Yangon’s built heritage. The primary objectives of the project would be:- HERITAGE LED REGENERATION