Lahore is the second largest city in Pakistan after Karachi. It is the cultural capital of Pakistan. It is an ancient urban centre. It was one of the major cities of the Mughals in the 17th century. Its location as an important crossroads in the northern Punjab brought riches as well as invading armies. As a result the city cultivated a rich architectural heritage that reflects the political fortunes of its conquerors. The modern city of Lahore, however, is organised along a pattern set mostly by the British during their approximately one hundred years of colonial rule over the Indian sub-continent.
Today Lahore has almost seven million inhabitants plus innumerable migrant workers from the surrounding small villages. Its precarious location between the Ravi River to the West and North and the Indian border to the east forced the city to grow mostly southward.
The Walled City of Lahore covers an area of 256 ha with a population of 200,000. The city walls were destroyed shortly after the British annexed the Punjab in 1849 and were replaced with gardens, some of which exist today. The Circular Road links the old city to the urban network. Access to the Walled City is still gained through the 13 ancient gates, or their emplacements. The convoluted and picturesque streets of the inner city remain almost intact but the rapid demolition and frequently illegal rebuilding, which is taking place throughout the city, is causing the historic fabric to be eroded and replaced by inferior constructions. Historic buildings are no exception and some have been encroached upon. The few old houses one can still see in the city are usually two or three storeys tall, with brick façades, flat roofs and richly carved wooden balconies and overhanging windows.
In addition to the mosque, the project also comprises two shops, which are rented to supplement the mosque's operating expenses. The two shops and the minaret mark the street façade. Entry to the interior courtyard and ablution facilities is through an arched portal that serves as the minaret's base. A small prayer chamber lies off the courtyard and is surmounted by a white dome. A wooden jali (lattice screen) terminates the end wall of this small chamber and lies between the two shops on the street façade. Three cusped-arch portals facing the courtyard lead to the prayer hall. The mihrab is incised into and protrudes from the qibla wall. A small caretaker's quarters lies next to the prayer hall, and can also be entered through the courtyard. Burned brick was used for construction of the walls, arches, and dome. Most of the walls are left unfinished; standing in rich contrast to the rich ceramic tile details on the cornice and minaret. The minaret is rendered in grey cement mortar; the entry and prayer hall portals and the dome are whitewashed.