Name Your Favorite Building(s) in Pakistan

Posted on October 6, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Architecture
70 Comments
Total Views: 68012

Adil Najam

We have had some fascinating discussions about on ATP about buildings and architecture. A few days ago Pervaiz Munir Alvi took us through a tour of Pakistan’s architectural history (here). His concern about architectural neglect was not unsimilar to that expressed by Raza Rumi (here) and SAJ Shirazi (here) earlier. Earlier we have looked in detail at the architectural legacies of various cities, including Lahore (also here), Karachi (also here), Multan and, of course, had spirited discussions about the new ‘7-star’ hotel – The Centaurus – being built in Islamabad (here and here).




The discussion has been rich and many have already identified what their favorite buildings in Pakistan are. Maybe we should invite others to also join the discussion identify structures that ‘do it’ for them.
What are your architectural preferences? Which buildings in Pakistan do you find aesthetically pleasing? Which would you consider most emblematic of Pakistan and ‘Pakistaniat’? In short, what is/are your favorite buildings in Pakistan? And, always, why?



We don’t need any rules, but a few guidelines; if I may.

  • You can name any building that you want, as long as it is in Pakistan and that actually exists (sorry, Centaurus does not count; not yet!).
  • It does not matter if it was built before or after 1947, as long as it still exists.
  • I expect that a lot of the entries will be commemorative structures (mousuleums, monuments, etc.). That is to be expected. I woudl love to also hear about which functional buildings (hotels, office towers, bridges, etc.) you find most fascinating.
  • Do please also tell us why you like a particualr building (that is much more interesting than you telling us why you do not like someone else’s choice!). If you have any interesting information about the building, do please share.
  • We hope to eventually turn this into a running list of “ATP Reader’s Choice,” so please do ask your friends who are interested in such issues to also come and post their choices here.

70 responses to “Name Your Favorite Building(s) in Pakistan”

  1. Shahid says:

    This is an excellent idea of involving more people in to discussion and developing a visiting profile so people who wanna come to pakistan can come and see for themselves how beautiful architecture in pakistan has been. I would like to name different buildings as per cities that remind me of that place
    . Karachi .
    Historical places. Mausolem of Mr. Jinnah; Frere Hall, Empress Market, Merewether City Tower, Mohitta Palace
    Functional Marvel > KPT building (falls in both category), Habib Bank Plaza building, DJ Science College
    . Lahore.
    Historical Places. Badshahi Mosque, Minar e Pakistan, Shalimar Bagh, Shahi Qilla
    Functional Marvel: Wapda House, Aitchison College
    . Islamabad
    Functional Marvel: Faisal Mosque

    Others as far as i can remember)
    Jinnah residency . Ziarat
    Khyber Pass. Peshawar
    Qilla Drawar. Cholistan, Bahawalpur
    Hiran Minar. Sheikupura
    Mazar e Sheikh Rukn e Alam , Multan

    Many many more building are there each carrying its unique history and grandeur; of worldly battles or religious devotion, of love, beauty or that of utter respect. Just naming them made me think of the rich culture that we have. I hope your blog would undertake to write individually about these buildings as it has done in the past.

  2. Iqbal says:

    I think that the WAPDA House has now turned into a classic.

  3. Hakim says:

    I agree with Najam, the Karachi Port Trust Building is the first functional building that comes to mind. Another is Islamia College Peshawar.

  4. Ahmed Bashir says:

    Baltit Fort

    It is a 600 years old fort in Karimabad, Hunza restored to near perfection by Aga Khan Foundation. It claimed some space in the Time Magazine under the title ‘Best restored in Asia’. Baltit Fort is representative of cultural diversity of Pakistan. Away from Mugal, Hindu and Sikh architecture it is more indigenous.

    Worth Seeing.

  5. SM says:

    I think one of the best modern age monument is the Pakistan Monument in Islamabad since great thoughts have been put-in into this. Every artifact or architechtural element is put in right place and symbolizing Pakistan in one way or the other.

    Secondly, I always praised the twin bridges in Sakkah the Lnasdowne and Ayub for their architechtural value and usefulness. They attract visionary attention from miles. Their capacity is insufficient for these days, but very efficiently meets the need and are a great asset.

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