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Famous Architects Of Pakistan: A Brief History

by Uneeb Khan
Famous Architects Of Pakistan


Pakistan is a country with a rich history, and architecture is no exception. From the ancient ruins of Taxila to the modern cityscapes of Karachi, Pakistan has yielded some of the most renowned architects in history. In this blog post, we will take a look at five of the most famous architects of Pakistan and their contributions to the field. From Sadequain to Anwar Ali Khan, let’s learn about some of the most influential architects in Pakistani history.

Famous Architects of Pakistan

Pakistan is home to some of the most renowned architects in the world. Each has played a significant role in shaping the country’s architecture and history.

The profession of architecture began in Pakistan in the 1930s with apprenticeships at local firms. In 1947, when India and Pakistan became independent nations, architecture became an official profession. From then until independence, Pakistani architects worked primarily on projects for their own country.

After independence, Pakistani architects quickly took to international competitions, winning awards such as the prestigious Pritzker Prize. Their designs were often modernist in style, reflecting the influence of European architects at the time.

One of Pakistan’s most famous architects is Feroz Shah Kotla Complex’s Danish architect Jens Klint Rasmussen. He was responsible for designing several major public buildings including a presidential palace and airport terminal. Other notable Pakistani architects include Muhammad Ali Arif, Hasan Ali Nayyar, Zahid Khan and Mustafa Khanaqyar.

Mohammad Aslam Khan

Mohammad Aslam Khan (4 January 1925 – 11 March 1990) was a Pakistani architect. He is considered the father of modern Pakistani architecture.

Khan was born in Peshawar, British India in 1925. After completing his early education in Peshawar, he went to the United Kingdom to study architecture at the Loughborough University from 1945 to 1949. There he met fellow students Zain ul-Abidin Ali and Gaudenz Wunderlich, who would later become his lifelong friends. Upon his return to Pakistan, Khan started working as an assistant with Danish architect Jørn Utzon on the construction of Islamabad’s National Assembly Building (now known as the Parliament House). In 1957, Khan founded his own architectural firm, Mohammad Aslam Khan & Associates, which became one of the most successful and prolific firms in Pakistani architecture.

During his career, Khan designed many notable buildings throughout Pakistan, including several universities and hospitals. He is particularly well-known for his work on Karachi’s iconic skyline, which includes the world’s tallest residential building—the PECO Tower—as well as several other prestigious skyscrapers. In 1985, Khan was awarded the Prince Claus Award for his outstanding contribution to architecture. He died of a heart attack three years later at the age of 66.

Habib Jalib

Habib Jalib is an internationally renowned architect who has designed some of Pakistan’s most iconic buildings, such as the President House in Islamabad and the Parliament House in Karachi. Born in 1938 in Lahore, Habib Jalib began his career working for local architectural firms before establishing his own practice in the early 1970s. Over the course of his career, Habib Jalib has won numerous awards for his work, including the Pritzker Prize in 1991. In addition to his design work, Habib Jalib is also a notable scholar and educator, having served as Dean of Architecture at the University of Michigan from 1990 to 1993.

Fazlur Rehman Khan

Fazlur Rehman Khan was born in 1936 in the city of Peshawar, in what was then part of British India. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Delhi, and then moved to Karachi, Pakistan, to continue his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After completing his undergraduate degree at MIT, Khan worked as a professor of architecture at the University of Illinois before becoming a full-time architect.

Khan is best known for his work as an architect for the UN Development Program (UNDP), which he joined in 1977. During his time with UNDP, he worked on a number of projects throughout the world, including in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Nepal. He also served as chairman of the Architecture Association of Pakistan from 1989 to 1992. In 2002, Khan was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Khan died on December 10th, 2016 at the age of 83 after a long battle with cancer.

Zahid Ali Abbasi

Zahid Ali Abbasi is one of the most renowned architects in Pakistan. He has designed a number of iconic buildings, including the national assembly building in Islamabad, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and numerous university campuses. Abbasi began his career in 1973 as a student at the University of Karachi, and later went on to work for several prominent Pakistani architectural firms. In 1984, he founded his own firm, Zahid Ali Abbasi Architects. Abbasi’s work has been praised for its creative use of traditional Islamic architecture and for its integration of modern design principles into traditional Pakistani construction techniques. He has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including the Asia Pacific Council on Architecture Award (1996), the Rome Prize (1999), and the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2008).


Famous architects of Pakistan trace their roots back to the Mughal dynasty and the Afghan kings who ruled over much of what is now Pakistan from the 1700s until eventually British rule in the 1800s. The British Raj, which lasted from 1857 to 1947, saw a flowering of architecture in Lahore and Karachi thanks to many talented architects coming from India. In 1953, East Pakistan separated from West Pakistan and became independent as Bangladesh; this led to a wave of new architectural talent in Dhaka. Since then, Pakistani architecture has continued to evolve with many famous architects working today in both Islamabad and Karachi.

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