Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1995.
Khuda-ki-Basti is a grid-like, planned layout within the 5500-acre Gulshan-e-Shabbaz housing development located in Hyderabad. It is the site of a development scheme devised by the Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA) to help the poorest families house themselves. In this sector homeless Pakistanis are given the chance to settle on land, and to obtain permanent. Given security of tenure, the families build their houses and provide infrastructure incrementally, as resources become available. The incremental development scheme is entirely self-financing - -there is no subsidy, formal or informal. The entire cost of the developed plots is borne by the beneficiaries, in instalments spread over a period of 8 years. The family designs and constructs its house in any material or style it can afford. The first house is usually made of reeds, wood, or cardboard. Slowly, a more permanent house of brick or cement block is erected, with roofs of asbestos tiles or corrugated tin. Ten percent of the owners eventually add a second floor. Materials are available locally. Each group of four houses is served by a septic tank linked to a pumping station. Over 70 percent of the houses have individual water connections, and the rest collect water from conveniently located taps. Electricity is also supplied to the area. Residents apply for individual house connections to all utility services after they have paid the charges; monthly instalments eventually repay the actual cost. Khuda-ki-Basti is also provided with education and health facilities as well as affordable transport service. The jury commends this successful effort to create affordable housing for the urban poor, seeing it as a model that can be widely applied everywhere.
Davidson, Cynthia and Ismail Serageldin, editors. Architecture Beyond Architecture. London: Academy Editions, 1995.
More that 1,600 projects have been examined and debated since the Aga Khan Award for Architecture was founded in 1977 with the intention of exploring the direction of architectural projects in Muslim societies and encouraging a high standard of design. In this sixth cycle of the Award, twelve projects are premiated. Each is vastly different from the others, and together they illustrate not only the diverse programs architecture is being asked to address in Third World countries today, but also the degree to which modernization, or what some may term 'westernization', is influencing the built environment of rapidly industrializing societies. Together these projects raise many questions: what is the role of the West in Muslim societies, or, for that matter, in developing society? What is the role of architecture in Muslim societies? What constitutes a definition of architecture in developing countries? Architecture beyond Architecture is the sixth in a series of books under the general title Building in the Islamic World Today.