Name Your Favorite Building(s) in Pakistan

Posted on October 6, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Architecture
Total Views: 74671

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. Yahya says:

    First: Clock wise Atchison College, Wapda House, you know what, red brick square building.

    Second: Lahore Fort, Gurdawara Nanka Sahib, Church like gothic building, Ziarat Residency.

  2. Daktar says:

    I need time to think about my response, but could someone identify the 8 buildings in the pictures used here. I think I know most, but not all.

  3. Owais Mughal says:

    The buildings built in British era also have a very distinct regional flavor. While buildings in Punjab e.g. buildings around lower Mall Road Lahore OR the Lahore railway station used red kilned bricks, Karachi and sindh area buildings used sand stone, Jodhpuri stone or stones gathered from sea side near Gizri e.g. Sukkur Barrage, Jehangir Kotahari Parade, KMC building, Old Customs house, KPT building etc.

  4. Adil Najam says:

    Owais, you are right. Name more than one, then ;-)

    To me this is not about a ‘contest’, its more of a collective brain-storming.

  5. Owais Mughal says:

    it is very difficult to name just one building as favourite b/c there is such a drastic difference in architecture (or school of architecture) in different parts of Pakistan. You will agree for example that modern Karachi buildings are so so different than those of modern Lahore. In Lahore buildings I notice a conscious or unconscious move to use a lot of Mughal architecture with arches and minaretes e.g. Allama Iqbal Airport. In Karachi all modern buildings are devoid of any arches/minaretes etc. e.g. FTC, PNSC, skyline of Clifton, buildings on Shara-e-Faisal. Islamabad is somewhere hung in the middle :) It has western architecture (buildings in Blue area) and then Supreme court building which is a very conscious effort to use arches/minaretes in a modern building.

    Anyways if I have to name one then my favourite building is Aga Khan Hospital and University Karachi.

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