The central idea of this low-income housing was to create a sense of belonging for a displaced community. The development is divided into distinct neighbourhoods - in contrast to the tattered urbanity of Karachi as a whole - and organised around plazas, gardens and courtyards, linked by ceremonial pathways. Shading devices, natural ventilation and a water recycling system all contribute to sustainability. The post-and-beam structures are infilled with both solid and hollow brick masonry and finished with earth-toned Colorcrete. The project cost around US$ 10 per square foot, inclusive of land and infrastructure.
Architect’s Record of Al-Azhar Garden Housing. Courtesy of Architect (submitted to the Aga Khan Award for Architecture), 2006.
In the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the architects of projects engaged in the nomination process receive an Award documentation package which describes the standardised presentation requirements. In addition to submitting photographs, slides, and architectural drawings, architects are asked to complete a detailed Architect's Record pertaining to use, cost, environmental and climatic factors, construction materials, building schedule, and, more importantly, design concepts and each project's significance within its own context.