If you’re still pondering whether to hire an architect in Lahore, just give it a thought. You’re not the only one who’s been in that position. Many of your friends have also asked that same question many times. However, all that changed when my friend’s son moved to Pakistan from the US two years back and told his parents that he was going to get an architectural degree from an institute in Lahore, without any professional accreditation. As a parent, I was really confused as to what to do next. My heart was telling me to trust him but I also had my doubts.
Hiring an Architect in Lahore has been difficult for a number of reasons. It’s not that there isn’t a huge demand for them in Pakistan. There are plenty of private commercial institutions, both big and small that need the expertise of highly qualified architects in order to make their projects a success. However, most of them don’t have the resources to hire professionals on such a short notice. Secondly, the quality of work done by the architects in Lahore is very good and they have received commendations for their hard work from various quarters. Thirdly, the fees charged by professional architects in Pakistan is much lower than those charged by the architects in Pakistan and Lahore.
In fact, we were quite excited when we received a call from our client asking us whether we could arrange an architect in Lahore for a meeting. Our answer was a resounding no. We explained to him that both the principal architect and the architect in charge of the construction should have a minimum of five years experience in the field. Furthermore, the architect in question should have a valid license from his principal institution. The principal architect was an expert in his field and had already developed a reputation in the city. His work involved high end residential projects and he had built multiple units in different parts of the city.
The second architect who visited us was a qualified chartered accountant who had lived and worked in Pakistan for the past fifteen years. He told us that the fees charged by the Pakistani professionals in the field were even lower than the fees charged by the individuals in India. When asked why there was no significant demand in Pakistan for these professionals, he said that the working conditions were not as good as in India and the legal formalities were much more stringent.
As we were leaving the premises of the clinic where the architect in Lahore was going to build his housing, a middle aged man in a wheelchair came running towards us and demanded that we take him to the chief executive office. As soon as we took him though, he went back to the wheelchair and started complaining about the heavy traffic and how he could not get down Pakistan Road because the pavement was full of asphalt. We explained to him that he could enter through the car port that was next to the gate. He was very happy and requested us to take him to his house on the top floor.
While walking from the clinic to our hotel, we met another set of Pakistani men who wanted to rent our car but had only an ordinary car insurance cover. One of them told us that his name was Hanif, and he lived in a rented flat on the third floor of a rented apartment block in Lahore’s old neighbourhood. We asked him if he knew anyone who was an expert architect in Pakistan and he produced the name of a thirty five-year-old man called Mustafa. We asked him if he had ever heard of any famous architects in Pakistan and he produced a photograph of a man we had met previously who he said was a famous architect.
Mustafa is an award winning architect and is currently completing a PhD in Civil Engineering at University of Islamabad. I asked him what kind of projects he was currently working on. He replied that he was designing a hotel in the old neighborhood of Lahore where the old neighborhood of Islamabad’s past reside. He explained to us that the project was being done by a famous architect called Maule Zia. We were surprised to find that there were many architects living in the old neighborhood of Lahore who were completing their Masters degrees and having ten to twenty years of experience between them. I wondered how this could be possible in Pakistan where there are so few residential houses constructed in built to order conditions.
Architect in Lahore has been a continuous presence for the last twenty-five years since it began. There has been a steady increase in the number of students choosing to complete their Architect of choice’s degree at the university. This should give some comfort to those who are considering pursuing a career in Pakistan’s civil engineering as it remains a vibrant industry. Only time will tell whether or not Pakistan’s government will support the capital and growth of the industry further or push it into the shadow of past glories.
Architecture is an inevitable and at the same time invisible part of our life: every day we pass dozens of buildings and structures, but we do not pay attention to them, because they are nothing more than a natural element of the urban landscape. But there is nothing natural in them, and even more so – each structure conceals not only the thoughts, hopes and dreams of those who built them, but also the stories of those who live or work in them. has compiled for you a selection of accounts of architects who know how to see a spark of inspiration behind the film of everyday life – and tell about it.