Issue 51 & 52

Featured Architects:

Ali Alam Design
Faisal Bilwany Associates
Metropolitan Studio of Architecture
Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates
Office for Radical Architecture Disciplines
Proportions Architects & Interior Designers
Rizwan Sadiq Architects
Saifullah Sami Architect
Suhail & Fawad Architects
Wasif Ali & Associates

In the modern era, making a home is more and more intrinsically linked to the many notions of what we call home and place-making. Architecture responds according to the realm of residential design. The themed edition explores the post-modernist redefinition in the generation of contemporary architects, which have evolved these spaces in the context of spatial maneuvering, environmental advocacy, subjectivism and relativism. There is an acute sensitivity in the investigation of the vernacular of bringing home the lost objects – in the making of a home.

Ali Alam  House 444

Client: Anonymous
Principal Architect: Ali Alam
Year of Completion: 2016
Site Area: 600 Sq.Yds
Location: Lahore, Pakistan

This residence was a study in designing a minimal house on an odd shaped plot for a young family in Lahore. The clients were very clear in wanting a contemporary design aesthetic but we really wanted to make the house create a feel ‘of the place’. The result is a happy medium of traditional architectural elements and local materials used in a modern minimal style. Ensuring that the residence responds to the climate and is environmentally responsive, the house is built around a central double height atrium that serves as a heat trap in the winters and as a chimney letting out the hot air in the summers. This central atrium is a visual connection between the two levels of the house, ensuring that the entire house enjoys ample natural light and cross ventilation. There is also an external courtyard that can connect to the atrium to make a direct physical connection. The entire internal flooring is in traditionally used terracotta tiles produced for the project, grinded, and polished to give a seamless contemporary feel. An open-to-sky deck connects the upstairs lounge and study to the main staircase, providing a constant connection to the outside environment wherever you are in the house.


Faisal Bilwany

Client: Mr. Arif H.
Principal Architect: Faisal Bilwany
Location: Naya Nazimabad
Site Area: 2000 sq. yards
Year of Completion: 2017

Neutral colors provide the base for extravagance in embellishment. The use of whites, beiges, and wood personifies elegance and sophistication, a representation of the client, while also giving the space an open and free flowing feeling. Wood frames every ceiling and window, with panels providing the base for chandeliers and ceiling fans. Sprinkled across the residence are wooden beams and elements of potted indoor plants and ornamental stones, illustrative of an earthy aesthetic. The main lobby contains a skylight, lighting up the space with natural light. The main staircase is embellished with a wooden banister, at the base of which lies our key earthy elements. In the heart of the house is an indoor courtyard. With three large glass windows, and a glass door, allowing the courtyard to be illuminated by the indoor lighting from all sides as well as the skylight that opens up above it. The residence incorporates a feeling of Zen and maintains a connection to the earth, without exposing the residents to the noise of the city.



Thinking Through Making – Metropolitan Studio of Architecture | MSA

Location Lahore, Pakistan
Client name Hassan K.
Design Team Syed Fawad Hussain, Leena Hassan
Site area 4576 sq. ft
Year of completion 2016

With the intention of being used by two families, the residence is planned on multiple levels. It provides separate entrances for both families from the shared porch. Two voids slit through the center of the building, making sure that not a single space stays under-illuminated. The split-level planning not only creates a variety of spatial experiences but also helps create privacy where required. On the facade, the age-old distinction between structural and aesthetic elements play is underscored and collaborates with the logic of construction, which then creates an aesthetic vocabulary of its own. This finish and construction technique manages to blur the distinction between wall and slab. Using construction logics as an aesthetic lexicon for the building exterior, the line between making and thinking are blurred. The vernacular brick is juxtaposed with concrete framing addressing the structural and material paradigm in contemporary design. The spatial layout focus is in creating small outdoor terraces for the users at various levels that host the plantation. The layout responds to contemporary living with multitude usage of spaces and intrinsic linkages. Penetration of light is filtered through wood louvers at corner windows that ensure privacy without blocking the natural light to illuminate the rooms. While the larger glass windows at the forefront create an opportunity for the interior spaces to interact with green exterior.


Imran Qureshi – Aisha Khalid Residence – Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates

Client Imran Qureshi , Aisha Khalid
Location Lahore, Pakistan
Site Area 731.6 sq. metres
Project Architects Raza Ali Dada, Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates
Year of Completion 2014
Photography As mentioned
Contractor Mohammad Yousaf
Project Affiliates/Consultants Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates (Engineers), Ahmed Khan, Architect, Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates (Drawings)

The project is a residence for an acclaimed artist couple and their two children. A studio space is attached to the house for one of the artists (Aisha Khalid). The house and the studio are built on three levels, which include a basement, a ground or main level and a first floor. The house is physically attached to the studio, which has its own separate entrance. A green courtyard in the center separates the house from the studio. The house is entered from the East via a paved court into a double height but compact foyer with discreet closets and a powder room which features a mirrored ceiling by traditional craftsmen. The height allows for views of tall trees in the front yard into the house. Upon entering, the foyer presents a view of the exterior and interior beyond in two adjacent frames suggesting the importance of their relationship in this house. Beyond this lobby is an open kitchen and dining area overlooking the front yard and two tall trees that were saved during construction. This space flows into a living area under a double height roof. The ceiling allows measured natural light whereas a window gets more daylight and lets us view a court on the south side carefully terminated by a freestanding wall creating privacy from neighbours. This room further extends into another single height sitting space overlooking the central green courtyard to the west and a covered seating deck to the south. All spaces overlook well landscaped areas and are meant to create a microenvironment that responds to Lahore’s largely hot climate. This flow in spaces can manage larger gatherings, which are frequently planned. Indoor and outdoor spaces weave together throughout these areas and allow them to be used concurrently. Two bedrooms are aligned towards the north side. The master bedroom and bathroom overlook the courtyard garden while the guest room is buffered between the master bedroom and the kitchen.

A narrow (intentional) stair under a skylight provides access to the upper or lower level. This stair provides a visual relief from the relatively populated living areas since it is an empty volume with a skylight above. External finish of Terrazzo reappears in the stair volume creating an outdoor like feel. The upper floor is for the two children (boys). The bedroom spaces are the same as the ground floor except an additional bedroom and a terrace fit above the dining and open kitchen with a balcony under the tall dense trees of the front yard. The master and guest rooms below are repeated as is, while a sitting area overlooks the green courtyard in the center. Every room interacts with the landscape similar to the ground level. The basement is largely a service area. There is a generous housekeeping and laundry area, a room for one staff member, extra storage and closets under the master bedroom (connected by a spiral stair) and a home theatre room. A storage space accessible from the outside only is also provided for miscellaneous garden equipment and bicycles etc. The studio, upon entering presents a tall double height workspace. A tall window overlooks the inner courtyard, whereas carefully placed windows bring in adequate light. The ceiling is in exposed concrete with indirect skylights along the perimeter. The floor recedes on the north side to create a void into the basement level for light. An upper level is divided into two areas on either side of the studio hall. One is a workspace used for small-scale drawing, and the other houses a library. A small terrace and the rooftop are accessible from this level. The basement area used partially for staff member accommodation while most of it is used for the artist’s studio activity and storage. Part of the ground floor has a gap towards the north that lets natural light down into the basement level.


House 07 – Office for Radical Architecture Disciplines | ORAD

Client Mr. & Mrs. Zeeshan A.Location Islamabad, Pakistan
Site Area 11,750 sq. feet
Project Architects Affan Ahmed, Muhammad Ali & Dawar Zia
Year of Completion 2018
Photography Salman Javaid Malik
Contractors Structure Enterprises Consultants Hitec Services (Structural Engineers), Jotun Paint (Paint), Philips (Lighting), Grohe (Sanitation), Milano Hardwood (Flooring), Crete Sol (Marble), SMC (Kitchen) 

House 7 is devised around a very meticulous but elaborate design brief. After analyzing the brief, the spatial arrangement and skin was developed simultaneously. With the private spaces of bedrooms and lounge positioned at the rear side of the site, the forefront of the site contains the drawing and formal dining rooms, and the spaces between serve as the service and auxiliary spaces. The residence is a composition of grey and brick masses with an array of fenestrations of various vertical proportions placed around the house, adding height to the masses. On the third level, a terrace is connected to a lounge that sits in an enclosure, working as an introverted courtyard. The staircase landing is extended to have a sitting deck and diving board for the lap pool that regulates temperature and airflow. The boundary wall with its parametric pigeonholes, lighten the visual and make the front façade more visually approachable. Wall relief is the beating heart in this design. During the construction phase of the project, a video of the process was recorded, after the removal of human voice and overlap of multiple construction sounds, a soundwave pattern was extracted. The sinusoidal wave pattern in turn became the basis of the brick cantilevering out of the wall. This transferring of incorporeal audio track into a relief was a conscious decision in order to connect to the context and to translate process in to a tangible outcome.


Fahim Khatri

Client Name: Dr. Shehzad
Principal Architect: Fahim Khatri
Associate Architect: Iqra Wasiq
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Site Area: 1200 sq. yards
Year of Completion: 2017

Seamless integration of the built with the natural environment is a facet of modern architecture, one that allows the emergence of feelings of ease and peace. The forefront of this earthy toned residence opens from the front garden to an open roof enclosed courtyard; tiled flooring is combined with plants emerging from potted corners climbing upwards. This serves as a semi-public space, opening into the main lobby area, containing a narrow skylight, allowing just the right amount of light to enter the lobby. The rear of the residence contains the private spaces of the home, and opens into the back garden, from which a wooden staircase makes the upper level accessible. A major element in the residence is the use of wooden beams. The rear exterior of the residence is framed using them, while the interior utilizes beams to create spatial and structural divisions. Additionally, a wooden frame is structured onto the ceiling as well as on the terraces on both lower and upper levels. Within the home the mix of solid white and veneer of brick volumes provides depth to the space and prevents the brown of the brick and wood from being overwhelming; this strategic use of elements evokes a feeling of sanctuary.


Linearity vs the sinuous stairwell | Rizwan Sadiq Architect

Client Ismail M.
Project Architect & Interiors Alay Zehra Mehdi
Location Karachi, Pakistan
Site Area 900 yards
Year Completed 2019

This modern residence is a classic example of the form following function. The design of this facade is simple and highly geometrical, with linearity as the focus of the entire theme of this house, from fair faced plaster groove lines on the exterior to spatial planning; the linear theme is prevalent throughout the design. The distinguished feature of the façade lies in the simplicity of its volumes, along with a spacious terrace embodying a modern feel. The linear patterns of horizontal louvres and pergola create a harmony with the design. The structure of the house pulls back to celebrate the driveway; with the entrance pushed back and a green space in front. As you walk through the driveway, having admired the owner’s collection of cars, you arrive at the entrance deck with a linear water body. 

The waterspouts create a subtle buffer from the roar of the car engines, calming your senses and marking the threshold. The interior of the house opens up to the public and guest zone followed by the private zone with spaces, laid out in a linear plan. Upon entry, the serpentine linear staircase entices your senses with its curved geometry and intricate railing design. The dramatic contrast emphasizes the grandeur of the staircase and leads your eye up along its length, becoming the point of focus of the interior space. The linear spatial arrangement consciously cleaved by the serpentine staircase together with the pool highlighting the internal – external exploitation, the focal elements break away from the overall design linearity taking precedence from Alvar Aalto’s MIT Baker House Dormitory. Looking past the staircase, you see the lap pool tucked with a great vantage view from all areas of the house. The view from the family living area is resplendent with large windows making the family living a peaceful enjoyable hub connected with the water. 

The drawing and dining rooms have glass sliding doors to extend the spaces and visually connect the staircase and pool as the central focal of the entire house. The large corner window of the drawing room provides a serene view of the swimming pool. The linear layout of the house then brings us to the lounge and open kitchen that spill into each other. The kitchen interior design theme is distinctive, and the colors are used as accents in furniture materials and upholstery harmonizing the design and achieving a spectacular ambiance throughout the interiors of the house with the choice of materials, textures and colors. The ground floor level has two bedrooms along with public and semi-private zones, while the first floor level has four bedrooms and a common lounge and small kitchen. The linear layout of each space ties the exterior linear façade of the house to the interior design. The first-floor lounge and master bedroom look onto the pool reigniting the serene visual connection with the water from the point of entry into the house to the resting personal spaces. Vibrant colors adorn and enliven the private spaces for an invigorating personified experience reflecting the inhabitant’s preferences in their domain.


Prospect & Refuge: House with a Pool | Saifullah Sami Architects

Location Bahria Town Karachi, Pakistan
Site Area Approx. 2.5 Acres (108,000 sq. ft.)
Project Architect Saifullah Sami Architect (Architecture and Landscape Design, selected Interior Spaces)
Year of Completion 2018
Architect’s Design and Supervision Team Saifullah Sami, Umair Siddiqui, Nuvera Khatri, Raza Aziz, Omer Yousuf, Akhlaq Ahmed, Fareed Ansari, Saima Khan.
Interior Design Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative Ltd.
Engineering Consultants Mushtaq & Bilal (Structure), S Mehboob & Co. (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing), Synergy (Home Automation), Shalimar Nurseries (Horticulture).
Contractors Paragon Construction Ltd (Civil), NEC (Electrical), (HVAC)

Bahria Town, on the outskirts of Karachi, is an undulating landscape of bare, dusty, parched hills. Two kilometers beyond the grandiose entrance gate off the Super Highway, past the first array of apartment and townhouses, buildings begin to dwindle. Thereafter, the rugged terrain is civilized by street-light lined tarmac roads but only just. In the empty expanse of desert, nary a dwelling is to be found at present. For as far as the eye can see, the horizontal dominates. Nested in a valley of this terrain, so that one approaches it winding downwards from a higher level, is a house in dark hues composed of floating planes anchored by freestanding wall planes sliding past each other. Horizontal planes echo the landscape, floating roofs rooted to the earth with heavy grey walls or ponderous podiums and platforms civilizing the bare desert floor. The house is a point marker in a vast expanse of uninhabited, unbuilt topography, and at its heart is a pool of water. The House with a Pool is a family retreat for its owner, his wife, and four daughters. The site is open on three sides with a single north edge abutting another residential plot. Two sides overlook a golf course. This exposure from all sides necessitates addressing each side of the built form as a façade complete unto itself and as a unique aspect of the house. The east façade facing the road becomes the entry plane, the north is the garden face and the true “front”, the west is the golf course face and the south opens to the lake face. In addition to the private living spaces of the owner and his wife, each daughter has a suite. This contributes to the expansiveness of the house. The suites are configured as fingers that extend out towards the landscape, held together by the heart of the house: a multi-height lounge and the swimming pool covered with a pergola. The suites and social spaces face north towards the expansive garden; in this orientation, they are protected from the sun. Glazed window walls establish a continuity between interior and exterior spaces. As part of the in-between space, the link between home and wilderness, the pool terrace holds together a cascading arrangement of semiopen decks, walkways and gazebos that enmesh the house with the landscaping. This penetration of landscape elements helps preserve human scale in a dwelling whose proportions and size are that of a mansion. The master plan divides the site into the house and a rolling garden yet these entities are enmeshed through semi-open and semi covered spaces and terraces that step down to the garden. The site is about 8 feet below road level and rolls towards the lake. By virtue of this topography the entry level or ground floor is the middle level and the basement is really a lower ground level that is open to the garden and looks towards the lake. 

The main interior axis of the house is perpendicular (i.e. east-west) to the entry façade, ending in staircases that take the promenade in the vertical dimension both upwards and down. The lounges, breakfast space, dining hall, and drawing room with their views to the north and south gardens are lateral to this axis as are the suites. The suites, because of their perpendicular orientation to the central axis, are entered via corridors that establish their privacy and remove them from the social spaces. With three major floors of accommodation, the house is animated with intermediate levels to create an interior topography that serves to break scale. The owner’s workspaces take up one wing of the house on an intermediate level between ground and first, overlooking the lake of an adjoining golf course. The owner’s suite is on the ground floor, those of his daughters on the first floor, and recreational spaces (home theatre, multipurpose hall, indoor games and bowling alley) and services are at the basement or lower ground floor. Throughout the house, the idea of a prospect taken in to the safety of a refuge is experienced. 

There are various lookout points, some deep within the house, others from the edges and still others from out in the landscape. The natural planning strategy would have been to focus the windows of the house mainly towards the lake to maximize views, however, this would mean opening up glazed surfaces to the intense west Karachi sun. Therefore, the living spaces are oriented away from the sun and towards the sprawling garden and thereafter towards the hills beyond. The garden also establishes a distance between the house and the next plot. Water is the central organizing element and apart from its functional role as a recreational amenity, it plays a symbolic role. It exists as a metaphor for life in the desolate context and a reflection of the city that the house is distant from yet belongs to – the City by the Sea.


Fawad Sohail – Writer’s Box

Client: Shabana & Harris Khalique
Location: Banigala, Islamabad
Site Area: 7500 sq. feet
Year of Completion: 2019
Architects and Consultants: Suhail & Fawad Architects
Principal Architect: Suhail A. Abbasi
Project Architect: Fawad S. Abbasi
Job Architect: Salman. J. Malik
Design Team: Fawad S. Abbasi, Salman. J. Malik, Ali Naqvi, Umair Mughal
Structural Consultant: Design Structure, Islamabad
Electrical Design: Ayaz Mehmood, Islamabad
Plumbing Design: 349 Engineers, Islamabad
HVAC Design: Ather Siddqi, EEC Islamabad
Contractor: Sultan M. Qureshi, SMQ Contractors Islamabad


As we enter the home, we are greeted with a stark change between the charcoal colored exterior to the white and naturally lit interior. The main lobby, with a double-heighted ceiling and skylight, opens into the lounge, wherein begins the mighty bookcase that holds the clients’ extensive collection of books. Shifting your eye level to the space above, a glass ceiling, supported by wooden beams and framed into the first floor, separates the two storied bookcase. Multiple terraces embellish the home with tan brick screens as their boundaries, allowing air to flow through while still providing sturdy support. This technique is used in the boundary wall of the site, giving a measure of privacy. 

A courtyard enveloped in brick screens and the concrete roof, with a single side open to nature, provides the perfect space to be shielded by the elements yet still be integrated with them. The movement of air and people in the home is free flowing, with large windows and doors opening into the home. The windows facing the exterior of the home allow a tremendous amount of natural light to flood the space that creates balanced ambience. The design of a residence is the embodiment of the personality of the inhabitant; this specific design is a poignant example of such a statement. From the contrast between the beige bricks and textured charcoal concrete, to the double storied bookcase, all of which is a reflection of the clients’ desires and natures.

Corporeal living with the tree | Raza Ali Khan, Wasif Ali Associates

Client Raza Ali Khan
Design Team Wasif Ali & Associates
Location Lahore, Pakistan
Site Area 1.5 canal
Year of Completion 2018

Lahore, as one of the oldest cities of Pakistan with a history dating back to the Indus Valley civilisation, houses some of the oldest and grandest of trees, and acts as a treasure trove of old and abandoned buildings, waiting to be repurposed and live on. In this residence of the architect, the entire plan was centered upon the 200-year-old Banyan Tree, with extra care taken to preserve the other trees on the land. As such, the building’s foundation was made to rest on beams to avoid disturbing the roots of the trees. 

In the seasons when the tree flourished, the leaves provided a veil from the outside world, but for the fall season it exposed the glass façade for which shutters were made of metal, coating it with diluted acid to create a rust finish, and sealed. The main door, removed from an older building, was restored using resin, and given a new home within this space. The uniqueness of this door lies in the moment it is closed; during the day, a soft ember glow seeps in from the space between it and the flooring. As you enter the house, the main lobby greets you with a double height ceiling and a linear mass of 8 feet in width and 30 in height welcomes you. This being the main focus and attributed to glazing, allows natural light to flood the house, and provides a point of exit for warm air. 

The walls, bare of paint, have a veneer constructed of split bricks sourced from old Lahore, these bricks develop a volume that allows the interior of the house to merge with the exterior, developing its own microcosm – a haven from the city. In conjunction with the bricks, old doors from Lahore were gathered and in a collage-like manner, retrofitted into the house with new frames. To create a relief from the heavy brick volumes, the house incorporates a high gloss, white tile volume, which reflects the reds and greens of the bricks and vegetation, in and around the home. The central lobby divides the house, the red and the white into two, while a landing between them connects the spaces, and proves to be a vantage point of the entire home. Next to this landing is a lounge with orange glazed glass windows, facing inwards, when backlit they flood the room with a soft warm glow.

The ceiling is an experiment on its own, made from exposed concrete with sprinkled iron filings. The filings have since rusted, which creates a reflection of the rust colored bricks within the concrete. The Banyan Tree in the garden, houses birds indigenous to Lahore and the building allows one to experience it from multiple vantage points. On the upper level, a terrace using old tiles sources from an old structure is juxtaposed with the landscape environment. The bricks used within the house were utilized in this space by creating a screen form, allowing airflow as well as enforcing privacy. The house attempts to preserve and blend into the natural landscape, repurposing as many found materials from older sites as possible. 

Featured Architects:
Abdullah Khan Architects
Architects’ Bureau
Architectural Engineering & Design Limited
Architecture & Interior Design Studio
DB Studios
Design Options | Khadija Tul Kubra
Design Options | Moyena Niazi
Ingenious Design Studio
Isbah Hassan & Associates
Nadeem Ul Hassan & Associates
Schematics Architecture

In the modern era, making a home is more and more intrinsically linked to the many notions of what we call home and place-making. Architecture responds according to the realm of residential design. The themed edition explores the most postmodernist redefinition in the generation of contemporary architects, which have evolved these spaces in the context of spatial maneuvering, environmental advocacy, subjectivism and relativism. There is an acute sensitivity in the investigation of the vernacular of bringing home the lost objects – in the making of a home.

Spanish hacienda amidst gardens and orchards

Client: A client
Architect: Abdullah Khan
Project Team: Sarah Shahid, M. Shakir
Location: Orchard Scheme, Islamabad
Site Area: 2 Canal
Year of Completion: 2016

The Spanish hacienda looks alike, residence for the client is nestled in the rolling hills of Islamabad and is surrounded by a vast landscape of impeccable gardens and orchards. The residence design aesthetics is based on western classical ideas of proportions and symmetry. The building is approached by a single driveway that rounds out around a fountain, at the core of which stands a four-sided centerpiece detailed with carvings of a lion guarding the house as is sanctified by these classical sculptures. The veneer of the exterior walls are of beige local stone, and every vertex of the structure is lined with sandy bricks, delicately stitching together the fabric of the classical façade. A meticulously carved netted brick wall surrounds the backyard, shielding the space from onlookers, while statuettes of lions standing atop rectangular pillars line the wall. Multiple arches, pillars, and arcades embellish the exterior and create a distance between the interiors and the external world. The arched doorway, ornate with intricate floral carvings, leads to a wooden door, fitted with glass panels – a pattern that follows in the other two doorways leading into the building. Inside, the residence is a mixture of deep earthy tones. The polished wooden floors of the common spaces and stairwell landings flows into the white tiled private spaces. The white plaster walls create a stark contrast against the dark wood and generates the impression of a larger, more open space. Large windows with wooden frames line the stairway, while the banister continues the motif of the lion within the home. The space containing the indoor swimming pool, tiled with beige flooring and lined with large glass windows provides ample room for a variety of activities and relaxation. From here, a large glass door provides one of the escapes into the garden and filters the exterior into the interior spaces for family gatherings.

Terraces & Gardens

Client: Mr. Arbab Shehzad
Location: Peshawar
Covered Area: 6000 Sq Ft
Plot Area: 02 Kanal
Architects: Bureau Design Team; Ar. Qayyum Khan, Ar. Ali Khan & Ar. Saba Shaykh
Project Lead Architects: Ar. Ali Khan & Ar. Saba Shaykh
Structural Consultant: M. Umair Majeed
Consulting Electrical & Public Health Design: In-House
Completion: February 2017
Photography: Ar. Rana Atif
Project Presentation Drawings: Ar. Ariba Asad

The design of this residence is based on the play of volumes, cantilevers and subtle material combinations to create a space for the client to call home. As one approaches the house, a cantilevering porch seamlessly floats above the vast openness surrounding the house. Adjacent to this light and subtle demarcation of space is a tall volume marking the entrance foyer. The vertical scale continues on inside as a double height lobby around which public functions of the house are arranged. The private areas are recessed, or their spatial arrangement is interlocked in the upper level, but intravenously connected with the exterior landscape. The forecourt of the house is a spatial arrangement of public spaces that spill over to the exterior landscape for family and friends. The house is surrounded by three gardens and it was imperative to establish a strong relationship with the same in keeping with the lifestyle of the client. The gardens were situated according to location and then added to with verandas to maximize their use. The family garden towards the south, coupled with a veranda enjoys the winter sun while being protected from summer sun. On the west, a veranda greets visitors and on the east a secluded garden is designed for more private use.  Exterior finishes is a brick and cement finish façade where the brick is explored ornamentally weaving lines, tactile indentations and casting a ripple effect on the otherwise minimalistic material palette. The treatment of façade is consciously minimal to achieve low maintenance in a combination of warm and subtle tones of materiality and color disposition. 

Unfolding Interiors

Client: Attiq-ud-din Ahmed
Design team: AEDL
Location/City: Lahore
Area: 874 sm.
Year of completion: 2017

Built on a square plot, this single-storey, two-bedroom house is laid out as two volumes, one for staff and one for residents. The house is organized around a sequence of open spaces programmed as gardens and courtyards that fill the interior with light and scent. Upon entry, the house presents itself as a folded white wall, articulated by four plumeria trees with two doors at either end. One door opens into the house while the other reveals a forecourt that leads further into an enclosed garden.

Windows from the garden allow ingress back into the interior where white onyx floors and white wall surfaces further amplify the light coming into the house. The play of brick with the white surfaces is a strong design contrast that intensifies the surrounding green areas with the built structure. Circulation in and around the building is designed such that different paths may be taken to suit different needs and moods. This in turn enables a rewriting of the building’s spatial syntax through a shift of three dimensional sequences and the possibility of manifold experiences while progressing through the house, courtyard, and garden.

The volumetric layering is intensified with the interplay of materials that translate itself from interior to the exterior expanse of landscape. The usage of materials and the controlled colour palette defines the interiors that unfolds itself as an art gallery with strategic placements of art installations. The interior spaces are shielded by the exterior elements of landscape enclosing the living areas into a cocoon disconnected from the outside world. The amplifying element of the interior is the play of light from the skylight above the pool that casts iridescent shadows magnifying the environment as the light transcends with its solar movement. An abode where the exterior belies how the interiors unfold.


The house with the glass covered courtyard

Client: Mr. and Mrs. T. Ahmed
Architect: Ramiz Baig
Size: 1000 yards plot – 12,000 sq.ft covered area
Location: Karachi
Year of completion: 2018

This earth tone house lies sandwiched between two bright yellow colored houses, almost like a referee separating the two from clashing aesthetically. The house is located in what is still a sparsely built area of DHA Phase VII and was amongst the first houses on the street when construction began. The courtyard was the first discussion that took place between the architect and the client. There was a clear desire to have an open space to entertain guests as well as use daily around which the rest of the house revolved. This space will for months be designed and tweaked and designed some more. The idea was always to place the courtyard as the central focus of the house with multiple other spaces opening into this on the ground floor and spaces having views into it from the first floor. What has resulted is a space that is a hub for the family and exquisitely crafted with beautiful stone flooring, comfortable seating and an outdoor ambiance with all the comforts of an indoor environmentally controlled space. 

The house was designed keeping a close-knit family in mind yet ensuring privacy and independence. You enter through the view of the main garden and one enters the drawing room from this lobby that provides full privacy to the rest of the house. A pathway opening on one side to the garden leads one towards the kitchen and the family dining space culminating in the intricately designed metal and wooden staircase which connects down to the basement and up to the first floor and finally the roof. There is a clear division of public and private, from the staircase lobby one finds a door leading to the lounge from which the bedrooms can be accessed. This suite is again found on the first floor. There is a clear division on the first floor connected by a wooden and metal bridge. The aforementioned suite occupies the one end and the other wing has further guest bedrooms for visiting married daughters. The basement can also be accessed through the garden which leads you to a quaint sunken court into which a guest bedroom opens as well as the main living hall on that floor. The basement is well lit and you hardly get a sense that you are underground. The house has interesting play of volumes, the first-floor front bedroom has a sloping metal roof resting on wooden rafters. This room volume is oriented towards the view of the sea with a balcony for maximum vantage views. 


Cuboids and Concrete

Client: A client
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
Site Area: 830 sqm.
Architect: DB Studio
Project Architects: Mohammad Saifullah Siddiqui, Asim Chaudry
Photography: Rafay Anwer
Consultants: Mr. Talha Afzal (Structure Consultant), DB STUDIO (Interior design)

Surrounded by the typical density of an urban residential environment, the client amalgamated two plots to enjoy the open areas and to mainly have a substantial area left as green and build on just one plot. The corner plot had a level difference of 5 ft. from one end to another. The client is an ex-army officer with experience of building houses. The client wanted to have a big house which could accommodate his own family and also his sons who were eager to return home with his family from the USA and settle in their new house for good. Both these family units wanted to have common spaces where they can bond and stay connected while at the same time retaining the privacy of their own areas. The basic zoning is simple with the more 

important areas aligned towards the north with the main green zone while the low profile areas spatially arranged on the western and southern sides. The architects took advantage of the level difference within the plot and used it in splitting the floor plan resulting in a playful circulation adding interesting visual depths and connections between different common areas and semi-private areas in the interior of the house. This exciting visual connection is also meant to retain a healthy effect on the bonding of the family. The high profile areas like master bedrooms and family lounges are arranged facing the external green expanse with walk through windows. The first-floor areas have cozy private terraces with bedrooms. 

The facade is an interesting and playful composition of cubic volumes that are either rooms or closet spaces from the inside and planters and terraces in the open area. This volumetric displacement is kept monotone in fair-faced plaster with vertical grooves on the surface. The cubic segmentation creates a dramatic play of shadows and light. The vehicular entry is through the northern gate. One has to climb up through the landscape to 5 ft. higher than the porch. The main entry portal is ensconced in the negative spaces created from the protruding cubes. The cuboid mass in the exterior are continued in the interior foyer as well. The entrance foyer is kept triple height with all the floor levels visible. These floor levels are connected through a metal and wood staircase. The foyer has a patio at the lowest level having a golden palm shoot up and a planter on the top floor adding a green dimension to the foyer. The diagonal lines of this staircase add a dynamic duality to the interior in this linear juxtaposition of the residence. The foyer is lit by a thin skylight on its roof providing interesting play of light and shadow. As the foyer is a vertical puncture through the whole house it provides a source of visual connection between different levels and living areas.


Do not cut the trees, keep the stones and levels…

Clients: Kamran and Saba Allawala
Location: Faran housing society, Karachi 
Project Area: 14000 sq ft
Architect: Khadija tul kubra
Project Architect: Nimr Pervaiz 
Drafting Team: Iqbal Yousuf , Rizwan and Nabeel
Structure Consultants: Top Engineering Landscape
Consultant: Mrs. Anjum Pervaiz
Photography: Nimr Pervaiz
Text: Radhya Kareem

There was a careful balance maintained between negotiating client requirements and keeping the spirit of the location intact for the design of the Kamran Allahwala residence. Listening to the site was the first step to respond to the project. Building on different levels is an ode to the hilly nature of the site. The residence cascades down onto the road and accommodates three distinct levels. The levels facilitate the spatial segregation required by Mr. Allahwala and his two sons to occupy separate portions of the house. Yet, these zones are interspersed with shared spaces providing the family opportunities to congregate. It is the movement through these zones, articulated by the careful curation of materials and details that prepare you for the breathtaking roof terrace divided into a play of levels. The constraints of the site being the terrain and the odd shape of the plot becomes an opportunity to give the design solution a unique identity. The design dialogue with the site hinted at using multiple levels, suggested by the hilly terrain also prioritizes panoramic views wherever possible. 

The odd shaped trapezium made way for the in-between stair court that acted as a re-orienting device, outdoor pause space and connective level between the lower and upper portion of the house. The upper portion from that point onwards pivots towards the changing angle of the plot, opening views into different directions. Each unit is yet connected to the whole with a gradual shift in orientation, a torque of sorts; is observed in the upper portion which also holds a shaded roof terrace space on top. This dynamic shift not only reflects a change of angle provided by the site lines, but it is as if the residence is craning its neck to face the expanding views towards the city. The high altitude allowed the main rooms of the house to be able to channel this view into the interior spaces. All of the finishes used in the project refer to the timelessness of the site. One enters the residence through a wooden door, next to the main gate, held in place by a yellow-brown sandstone (gizri stone) wall. 

The course pattern and texture of the stone alludes to the connection between architecture and land. The sandstone is not only reminiscent of the stone that was unearthed from the site but also holds semblance to a jutting hill, visible from the roof terrace at the highest level of the house, known as Kidney Hill. The material remains a continuing feature in the house covering a small portion of the facade and also used in the utility rooms on the roof terraces. All interior spaces are enhanced by generous wooden louvered windows wherever an opportunity for views, wind or light is beneficial. They open up to views of the landscape and neighborhood outside. One can also look into the carefully placed courtyard through the entrance of the living room. A view of nature is not denied in any space. The landscape is intimately woven with the built areas; the frangipani court, the water body, the pool and the cascading green are all integrated with the living spaces of the residence.


Sharing the joys of a joint family home

Client: House 1
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Site Area: 500 sq yards
Project Architects: Moyena Ahmed Niazi, Muhammad Nimir Pervez
Year of Completion: 2014
Text: Mohsin Y. K. Yousufi
Photography: Muhammad Nimir Pervez

In our society, when we talk of the joint family, there are heavy undertones of nostalgia and sometimes even obsolescence. It is often viewed as a tradition that is incompatible with the modern age which has fallen out of favor with the people for a more private structure of a nuclear family. But there are families who still believe in the unique offerings of the joint-family structure. One such case was of these four brothers who wanted to continue the joint-family tradition albeit in a slightly modern manner. With four families of their own and a mother, these brothers eventually found two plots of land, unfortunately not beside each other but on the same street. This consequently resulted in two very different houses conceived around a similar idea. Both the houses were designed as two-unit houses but it was the common facilities that were truly unique for a joint-family house. The spaces were designed to not isolate the families, but enable them to maintain contact without compromising their privacy. 

Spaces such as the staircase, basements, rooftops and occasionally the kitchen were the ones that were shared. House 1 has an interior and exterior staircase. 

The foyer serves both the ground floor and the staircase leading to the basement which is shared between the two families. The first floor is accessed by an exterior staircase which also leads to the rooftop. Although the staircase for the two levels exists separately, they are not entirely disconnected. By connecting either of the staircases to a common space, one to the basement and other to the rooftop, the families tend to come in more frequent contact. Thus, the physically disconnected staircases are used as a way of connecting the families socially. The absence of a typical ‘drawing room’ in both units means that the basement is also shared between the two families as a social space. This has allowed for a more efficient usage of space on a 500sq. yds. plot, enabling the private areas to be more spacious. In case of a major ‘dawaat’ the ground floor kitchen becomes a serving space for the basement. Such a use of the basement and kitchen is unique to joint families.


The Signature Villa – Dubai

Location: Jumeirah Golf Estates Villa, Dubai
Area: 1000 Sq yards
Year of Project: 2016 – 2018
Design Team: Faizan Fazal & Sara Faizan
Developer: Green Properties
Photographer: Daniyal Fazal

This elegant Tuscan villa is located in Jumeirah Golf Estate, which is one of the most elitist areas in Dubai. The design challenge was a very specific client’s requirement, that of the cascading view of the undulating golf course. The main task was to design a villa with completely different design orientation and architectural style. As one enters the interior precinct of the residence, the house opens up to the lavish view of the golf course at the back end of the plot. Its external features are Tuscan inspired design that makes it look as if it were brought indirectly from the Italian countryside. Tiled roofs, ironmongery, wooden lattice work and exposed reconstituted stone elements are defining elements that lend it a very rustic sense of charm. Walking through the ornate wooden doors is akin to stepping through time as you find yourself transported to an elegant modern interior encapsulated within classical walls.                          

One can see a glimpse of exterior architectural design components and materials in the interior spaces; to integrate the architectural modulation inside-out. The interior reflects a few stone walls and columns, but the overall design scheme remains contemporary and almost minimalistic and is at par to the contemporary tech times. The flooring is a varied combination of rich wooden finishes, stone tiles and marble and the intricate staircase enriches the interior spatial arrangement with its stylistic ironmongery details contrasting with the minimalistic background. A double-height lobby leads into a combined living and dining room with an open kitchen, all of which overlooks the pool deck and undulating golf course. Natural light filters throughout the spatial arrangement casting iridescent shadows with the moving sun direction as light is reflected through the shallow pond. The pond surrounds a marble staircase leading to the first floor, where the remaining suite bedrooms and a second family room are located. The master suite has its own living area, terrace, and large walk-in closet overlooking the golf course.


Contemporary Residence for Global Family

Client: Mrs. Ayesha Amin
Location: Lahore
Architect: Isbah Hassan and Associates
Design team: Isbah Hasan & Shajea Shah
Area: 12000 sq. ft built area
Year of completion: 2005

A contemporary look at the global family; a project where the design lead was intimately involved from concept to the finishing stage. The house is a series of suites meant to address the needs of the family with children who have flown the coop but come back with their families often enough to their homeland. The living space is an open plan taking in the best views of the garden and the pool which is meant to be a shared respite area for the entire family. The spatial arrangement of private areas revolves around the main space. The intrinsic connection is spatially enhanced by a split level study, the media room that has great vantage views of the pool. The house embraces nature and natural light filters from the huge glass surfaces that opens to the surrounding landscape of the house that is resplendent with all existing trees that have been retained with the spaces wrapped around them.In addition there is a layering of spaces that mark the ingress to the house connected to the landscape, the entrance courtyard tucked under the tree whereas the rear courtyard with the pool acts a family entrance are features of the house that gives tremendous joy to the owners and people who visit it.


Floating canopies

Client: Mir Residence
Location: Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Site Area: 600 sq. yards
Architect: NUHA Nadeem Ul Hasan & Associates
Year of Completion: 2015
Photography: Nadeem ul Hasan

The client’s brief was to construct a modern, yet simple and elegant house on a 600 sq. yards plot. NUHA came up with a design solution of a cozy, functional residence. It is an energy efficient abode, the difference in temperature between the First floor and basement is negligible as the total house is wrapped in insulation as per international best practices. 

Skylight at the first floor has two layers of safety glass and high-performance glass protecting against 80% of thermal effect. Air Conditioners seem like super machines controlling the temperature efficiently during daytime. The daylight streaming in has been channelized through the large glazed surfaces and filters the interior spaces via the double height space housing the vertical circulation. The spatial arrangement is spread horizontally in the length of the plot opening the views of the house to the streetscape. The façade is further defined by overhanging canopies that creates the illusion of a floating roof within the landscape. 

Floating façade and terraces

Location: Federal B Area, Karachi
Area: 700 sq yards 
Year of Project: 2017-2018
Design Firm: A Joint Venture of Schematics Architecture & Ingenious Design Studio
Design Team: Muhammad Faizan Fazal, Farhan Zia, Sara Faizan, Zahed Mohiuddin & Abdullah Ibrahim
Construction Manager: Wasim Khan
MEP Consultants: ECONS
Structural Consultant: Abdullah Associates
Civil Contractors: Art Forum
Interior Contractors: Mass Associates
Photographer: Daniyal Fazal

The contemporary residence is located in Federal B area, Karachi and is a collaborative effort of Schematics and Ingenious design studio. The façade of floating clean white slabs is a major feature that makes the residence standout in the streetscape with a sharp contrast to all the natural greenery surrounding it. This 700 sq-yd house underwent a major interior and exterior renovation where some important spaces of the ground floor were conserved as per the client requests. This west side facing house is ingeniously designed to avail most of the advantage with prodigious cross ventilation and daylight.

The asymmetrical entrance layered with the external and internal court not just flood the interiors with light and air circulation but also extends the house to views and vistas in the narrow plot frame. The plan is laid out in a linear arrangement that are manipulated as covered and open spaces in different levels. The spatial arrangement pans out differently at all levels that have their courts terraces and views of the external foliage. The inspiring interior generates contented spaces for the residences. The balance usage of wood, stone, plaster techniques, colour and foliage provide a natural essence to the internal spaces too.  All of the interior spaces are deliberately designed to maintain the visual continuity of internal courts and outdoor decks. The lounge on the ground floor has a walk-through glass fenestration that connects the ground floor interior with the rest of the backyard, allowing the inhabitants to enjoy the outdoors whenever they wish. Another eye-catching feature is the court and skylight in the center of the first floor due to which daylight can enter and make the space more vivid and inviting.  

14 thoughts on “Residences by contemporary architects”

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