Architectural Ambiguities

Architectural Ambiguities

Architectural ambiguities

By Noman Ahmed

Like in many other fields, Pakistan is lagging behind in the realm of architecture. And it has its reasons

IN the third week of January 2006, the results of the CDA Headquarters design competition in Islamabad were announced by a jury that included eminent architects of the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners (PCATP). The design proposal by architect Ejaz Ahmed and his team was found to be the best entry. Doing adequate justice to the staggering 5.14-acre site, the winning entry laid down a functionally viable and aesthetically appropriate solution to the given problem. The disappointing aspect was the fact that other entries were fairly low in quality. The declining interest of architects in producing quality output was probably one of the reasons for the poor quality entries.

A few months ago, a large scale housing industry exhibition in Karachi attempted to display several facets of our emerging architectural environment. On the one hand, the event painted a picture of an all blooming and cosy neighbourhoods that shall soon spring up along the new corridors of the Lyari Expressway and the Karachi Northern Bypass. On the other hand, developers and builders were fiercely competing to sell the images of the prospective abodes for the masses. The designs and details of most of these options were as gaudy and chaotic as our society. Onlookers were completely bewildered by this poor show of over-powering images, colours and locations. If this is going to become the future architecture of our city, the situation may not be any different from the present-day environmental situation. The review of some of the related issues shall be useful to comprehend this scenario.

It is an established fact that architectural heritage is the most prominent feature of all the environmental ingredients, mainly due to its dimensional magnitude and the instant impact that it has on the human mind. Not only does it...

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