Bio Yasmeen Lari

1961 Part I RIBA from Polytechnic of North London, London

1963 Part II RIBA from the Oxford School of Architecture, Oxford

1963 Architect, Zhan & Co., Hameln, Germany

1963 First Woman Architect of Pakistan

1964 Founder, Karachi Artists Gallery (KAG), the first permanent exhibition and studio space in Pakistan,

1965 ‘Some Thoughts on House Design,’ presented at the Karachi Artists Gallery, Karachi,

1965 Chief Architect, MacDonald, Layton and Costain,

1965 Architect, Indus Chemical Factory, Karachi,

1966 ‘Our Heritage in Muslim Architecture,’ presented at the Second National Seminar on Muslim Architecture, Islamabad,

1966 Lecturer, School of Architecture, Karachi,

1968 ‘Architecture in West Pakistan—Islamabad,’ presented at the Third National Seminar on Muslim Architecture, Dhaka,

1968 ‘Museum Architecture,’ presented at the All-Pakistan Museum Conference, Dhaka,

1969 ‘Housing for Industrial Workers,’ Report commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Labour,

1969 Associate of Royal Institute of British Architects (ARIBA), UK

1970 Architect, Pakistan Naval Officers Housing, Karachi,

1973 ‘Tharparkar and Sialkot after the War,’ report commissioned by UNICEF and the Government of Pakistan,

1973 Architect, Angoori Bagh Housing, Lahore,

1974 Project Coordinator, Slum Improvement, Karachi Development Authority

1975 ‘Slums and Squatter Settlements — their Role and Improvement Strategy,’ presented at RCD Seminar on Urban Development and Housing, Islamabad

1975 ‘Slums are not a Lost Cause,’ published in the Pakistan Economist

1975 Appointed by UNICEF to report on flood affected areas of Pakistan

1976 Speaker, Habitat Forum Self Help and Low Cost Housing Symposium, Vancouver, Canada,

1978 Architect, Pakistan Steel Mill Housing, Karachi,

1978 ‘Housing — A Personal View,’ presented at the UN Regional Conference for the Economic Commission of Western Asia (ECWA),, Amman, Jordan

1980 Chairman, Aga Khan Award for Architecture Seminar, Karachi,

1980 Director, Heritage Foundation (founded Society for the Preservation of Muslim Heritage), Karachi,

1980 Keynote Speaker, Aga Khan Award Seminar on Places of Public Gathering in Islam at Amman, Jordan,

1980 Only architect from Pakistan to have a chapter devoted to her life and work in the book, ‘Architects of the Third World’ (in German) by Professor Udo Kulturmann,.

1980-83 President, Institute of Architects, Pakistan (IAP),

1981 ‘Lines Area Re-settlement Project,’ presented at the seminar on Housing Design in Islamic Cultures at MIT, Cambridge, USA,

1981 ‘Search for Identity,’ presented at the Conference on Islamic Art, Architecture and Calligraphy, Peshawar,

1981 ‘Thatta: the Beginning of a Case Study,’ presented at the seminar on Architecture in Archaeology and History at Mohenjodaro,

1981 Guest Faculty Member, MIT-Harvard Seminar, Cambridge, USA


1981 Member, Expert Group of Government of Pakistan on National Housing Policy, Islamabad,

1982 Architect, Finance and Trade centre (FTC), Karachi,

1982 ‘Identity and Heritage,’ presented at the All Pakistan Science Conference, Bahawalpur,

1982 Chairman, MIT-Harvard Seminar on Housing Design in Islamic Cultures, Karachi,

1 982 Named one of the Seven Visionary Architects of Asia by ‘Asiaweek’ of Hong Kong, 3rd September 1982

1982 Only Architect from Pakistan invited to exhibit work at the prestigious Venice Biennale Exhibition, Italy,

1982 Research paper in Thatta, published by Goethe Institute,  Karachi,

1982-85 Member, Majlis-i-Shoora (Federal Advisory Council), Islamabad,

1983 Chairman, Planning Commission Working Group on Housing for Low Income Group,

1983 Member, Selection-Board for Headquarters of League of Arab States, Tunisia,

1983 Research Paper in Architecture and Community; Building in the Islamic World Today, published by Aperture, New York,

1983-1990 Member, Advisory Council, Ministry of Finance,

1983-85 Deputy Chairperson, Architects Regional Council of Asia (ARCASIA)

1983-86 Chairperson, Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners (PCATP)

1984 Architect, PSO Head Office, Karachi,

1984 ‘Expanding Role of an Architect in the Asian Context,’ presented at the First Asian Congress of Architects, Manila, Philippines,

1984 Chairman, 2nd Session, MIT-Harvard Seminar on Architecture in the Spirit of Islam, Cambridge, USA,

1984 Coordinator, Council of Architects and Planners of Islamic Countries,

1984 Member, Board of Advisors and Keynote Speaker, First Asian Congress of Architects, Philippines,

1984 Member, Three-person Pakistan Government Expert Team to Maldives comprising Artists Sadeqain and Gulgee

1985 Architect, Gulistan Housing Colony, POF Wah,

1985  Member, WHO/UNEP Working Group on Health Criteria for Urban and Indoor Environmental Quality, held at Moscow, USSR,

1985 ‘Women in Development,’, presented at the Conference of Women from Pakistan and Bangladesh, Islamabad,

1985 Editor, Challenges of Transformation; Built Environment in Islamic Countries, published by PCATP,

1986 Architect, Al-Shifa Hopital, Rawalpindi,

1986 Author, Document No 1. Zaibunnisa Street, National Register of Historic Buildings, published by Heritage Foundation,

1986 Only architect invited to Conference of Intellectuals and Thinkers convened by the President of Pakistan, Islamabad,

1987 ‘Chat aur Chardiwari,’, Report on housing for the Prime Minister’s Five Point Programme,

1987 ‘Low-income Housing,’ contribution on Housing as member of the Pakistan Delegation to the SAARC Seminar, Islamabad,

1987 Member, Pakistan delegation to SAARC Conference of Women, Islamabad,

1988 ‘Professional Practice and Education of Architects in Pakistan,’ presented at the Conference on Development and Design in South and Southeast Asia, organised by the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong,

1988 ‘The Lines Area Project: A Concept in Land Sharing,’ presented at the United Nations Group on Land Sharing Conference, Bangkok, Thailand,

1988 Member, Advisory Committee on Population & Housing Census, Government of Pakistan,

1988 Member, Karachi Aesthetic Control Committee, Government of Sind,

1988 Member, UN Habitat group on Land Sharing, Bangkok, Thailand,

1988-1990 Member, Academic Council, N.E.D. University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi,

1989 Author, Traditional Architecture of Thatta, published by Heritage Foundation,

1990 ‘Architecture and Politics, and the Politics of Architecture,’ presented at the XVIIth World Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA), Architecture 1990: Cultures and Technologies, Montreal, Canada,

1990 Member, Board of Governors, National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA),

1990 Speaker, UIA Congress, Montreal,

1991 Member, UNDP & UNCHS Expert Panel on Karachi Masterplan — Beyond 2000, Karachi,

1991 Research Paper in Housing Parameters, published by Aga Khan Program for Architecture and Urban Design,

1992 Member, Pakistani Delegation to the Second International Symposium on Mohenjodaro, Karachi,

1992-1993 Vice-Chairperson, National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA)

1992-94 & 2004-2006 Member Board of Governors, National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore,

1993 Member, Sindh Chief Minister’s Aesthetic Committee,

1993 Vice Chairperson, Pakistan National Committee of  ICOMOS,

1994 KMA Hospital, Kharadar, Karachi,

1994 Author, Document No. 2: Serai Quarter, National Register of Historic Buildings, published by Heritage Foundation,

1994 Author, Document No. 3: Saddar Bazaar Quarter, National Register of Historic Buildings, published by Heritage Foundation,

1995 Architect, Holiday Inn Hotel, Multan,

1995-1997 Member Syndicate, N.E.D. University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi,

1996 Architect, KMC Women’s Sports Complex, Karachi,

1996 Author, Document No. 4: National Register of Historic Buildings, published by Heritage Foundation,

1996 Author, Document No. 5: National Register of Historic Buildings, published by Heritage Foundation,

1996 Author, Document No. 6: National Register of Historic Buildings, published by Heritage Foundation,

1996 Author, Document No. 7: National Register of Historic Buildings, published by Heritage Foundation,

1996 Author, Document No. 8: National Register of Historic Buildings, published by Heritage Foundation,

1996 Author, The Dual City: Karachi During the Raj, published by Oxford University Press and Heritage Foundation,

1996-1999 Expert Member, Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, Government of Sindh,

1997 Architect, ABN AMRO Bank, Country Office, Karachi,

1997 Author, The Jewel of Sindh: Samma Monuments on Makli Hill, published by Oxford University Press and Heritage Foundation,

2000 Speaker, International Conference of Architects, Bombay,

2002 Author, Karachi Heritage Guide, published by Heritage Foundation,

2002 UN Annual recogniton Award

2002-2003 National Project Co-ordinator, UNESCO, 2002-2003

2002-2005 Member, Board of Advisors, International Archives of Women Architects, Virginia, USA,

2003 Author, Lahore Heritage Guide, published by Heritage Foundation,

The Heritage Foundation was the first organization that began systematic cataloguing and working on saving historic urban structures.

Ms Lari was the first to start preserving the heritage in Pakistan. The GPO on Mall Road Lahore had caught fire and was slated for demolition. The other was Flagstaff House in Karachi.

The Sindh Cultural Heritage (Preservation) Act 1994, proposed by Ms. Lari, was unanimously passed by the Sindh Assembly. Thereby about 600 buildings documented by her in Karachi were preserved, and a committee was formed to implement the law and to document and protect more buildings. But Abdul Hamid Akhund, secretary to the governor and the culture secretary, and Hameed Haroon got themselves nominated onto the committee, and did their best to defeat the act by not implementing its purpose which was, to document and save the heritage of the whole of Sindh. Akhund used to say that. Lari had got the Heritage Act passed with a gun at his head. By that what he meant was that despite being the blue eyed boy of governor Mehmood Haroon and soulmate of Hameed Haroon, he was helpless before the support she had of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Chief Minister Abdullah Shah and the opposition in the Sindh Assembly.

Ms. Lari created Karavan Karachi to generate public awareness and support for heritage. Karavan Karachi met every Sunday at a heritage building where school bands would start playing in the afternoon to attract people. With thousands of people watching, the chief guest would place a plaque on the heritage building, followed by speeches, plays, skits, and music shows relating to heritage offered by schools and theatre groups.

She devised the Karavan MeraPakistan programme, to safe-guard historic buildings, to foster a duty of care for heritage assets, to develop pride and a stake in the city by initiating a sustained process of cleaning and washing Karachi’s heritage. This was done by involving school children and by white washing posters from walls and replacing them with paintings by students. These functions were held in Karachi from 2001-2004, followed by several cities ranging from Bahawlpur Palaces, Darawar Fort and the World Heritage Sites of Lahore’s Shahi Qila and Taxila.

When one of the important heritage sites in Pakistan, that is the Shish Mahal of Lahore Fort, was endangered, the Heritage Foundation chief Yasmeen Lari was appointed National Advisor for conservation and preservation of Lahore Fort by UNESCO, and was asked by UNESCO to to save it.

The documentation of Peshawar city was also taken up in collaboration with UNESCO and a publication on Peshawar city was brought out.

UNESCO also appointed her to co-author the Master Plan of Lahore Fort, which identified problem areas and worked out strategies for the management of the entire World Heritage Site.

The Hertage Foundation received the UN Recognition Award 2002 for promotion of culture and peace.

UNESCO devoted a chapter to Ms. Yasmeen Lari as one of sixty women from all over the world who had made a significant contribution to UNESCO since its inception.

The Heritage Foundation has, without any assistance or funding from the government, helped people build, in over a hundred and fifty villages, over forty thousand earthquake and flood resistant houses, over thirty thousand smokeless chulas and hundreds of latrines at almost zero carbon footprint, which is the largest zero carbon intervention in the world.

A test at NED College Laboratory was conducted in the presence of the vice chancellor himself and representatives of international agencies, and it was found that Heritage Foundation’s earth, lime and bamboo structures could withstand over twice the intensity of the Kobe earthquake in Japan, without showing any damage to the structure.

Her work was filmed by a prize-winning Indian film maker named Faiza, and broadcast by Aljazera TV in their series on rebel architecture. Safeeyah Moosa of South Africa sent a photographer to film her work, which was broadcast on ten TV stations in South Africa.

The Heritage Foundation chief executive Yasmeen Lari is the only Pakistani architect whose work has been exhibited from January to April 2016 by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and she was invited by them to lecture and conduct workshop in London on how to work with sustainable materials with low/zero carbon footprint.

2013 Ms. Lari was declared Islamic Development Bank (Jeddah) Laureate, Ms. Lari’s work has been exhibited in the First Chicago Architectural Biennale. That due to her innovative approaches she has been invited to speak at the Oslo Architectural Triennale in September 2016.

The Phaidon Press Limited of Regent’s Wharf, All Saints Street, London, and 180 Varick Street New York NY 10014, published an encyclopedia of the 20th Century World Architecture built between 1900 and 1999, in 97 countries of the world, comprising every imaginable building type, from the smallest single houses, cafes and zoo structures to huge utopian housing projects, centres of government, and new universities. The experts from the building industry, chose 757 examples of the most outstanding work done during the twentieth century, from a selection made by over 150 specialist advisors from every geographical region of the world. One of the works selected was house in Karachi, designed by Yasmeen Lari.

Ms. Yasmeen. Lari was invited to Japan in the middle of September 2016, “for her extraordinary contribution, from all over Asia to receive the prestigious Japanese Fukuoka Art and Culture Prize 2016 as architect, architectural historian, heritage conservationist and human aid worker”




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