Text | Dr. Rabela Junejo
Visuals courtesy | Farida Abdul Ghaffar, Sayem Ghayur and Yoman Aisha

Nestled on a 4000 (+) square yards, sandwiched plot in F B industrial Area Karachi is a denim factory, “Star Denim (Pvt) Ltd.”. Presence of a denim factory in an industrial area of the bustling metropolis of Karachi is nothing out of the ordinary, so why the curiosity; because this particular structure comes close to as Vitruvius would say fulfils the criterion of architecture, the utilitas– firmitas – venustas. For a lay person these three characteristics, charted out by the Roman engineer serving under Emperor Augustus, are translated as “utility – strength – beauty/aesthetics”. According to him any building or structure merited as architecture must reconcile these three characteristics into its presence and the Star Denim Factory has garnered the privilege of being called architecture as per Vitruvian principles.