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KKM in Pakistan

By Zarminae Ansari


This thesis looks at an important Pakistani architect's work and philosophy as a possible direction or approach for contemporary architecture in Pakistan. Although there are more prolific builders in Pakistan, Kamil Khan Mumtaz (KKM) of Lahore, is one of the most important and influential figures in architectural education and the architectural discourse in Pakistan. He has tried to synthesize both pragmatic and philosophical aspects of architecture. Kamil Khan Mumtaz was trained in the Modern Movement at Architectural Association, London. His initial exposure to indigenous Architecture made him question the validity of his training. He started to search for a more appropriate architectural idiom for Pakistan. Throughout his career, he has been a pioneer in the movement for conservation of architectural heritage and raising standards of architectural design in Pakistan through different organizations he has founded and is member of. This thesis looks at three stages of evolution in the architects background, discourse and work; relating it to its cultural milieu. The first phase describes the state of architecture in Pakistan when he returns from the Architectural Association, London, and the events leading up to the situation. The background is a period of nation building following Independence and Partition and a lack of adequate architectural education in Pakistan. His early buildings reflect his Modernist training and social concerns. The second phase looks at his growing concerns with appropriate technology, and interest in indigenous building techniques and crafts. This is the period of Islamic nationalism and the Islamization program during the military regime of General Zia. The last phase, is the recent and contemporary situation, where global culture meets the deep rooted remnants of fundamentalism fanned by Zia's regime. At this time his architecture is an attempt at synthesis of modern technology and local craft with his own interest in spiritual aspects of architecture.KKM's most representative work in each of these phases will be discussed with reference to his architectural agenda at the time. Other issues raised, while assessing the work of Kamil Khan Mumtaz, are issues of regionalism relating to the evolution of his architecture. If critical regionalism is considered the preferred choice, or alternative, of architectural approach specially in Islamic and/ or developing countries, how well does KKM's work fit into that context? Finally, it explores his importance as an architect, educator and intellectual in terms of his influence on contemporary architecture in Zarminae Ansari.Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1997.Includes bibliographical references (p. 101-104)

Topics: Architecture
Publisher: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Year: 1997
OAI identifier:
Provided by: DSpace@MIT
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