Breathing new life into the legacy of past civilisations calls for a creativity, imagination, tolerance, understanding, and wisdom well beyond the ordinary. The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme (AKHCP), established in 1992, implements conservation, urban revitalization and area development projects in historically significant sites of the Islamic world undertaking the restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures and public spaces in ways that spur social, economic and cultural development. Its projects seek to mobilize local potential and resources in order to ensure their eventual self-sustainability through operational income, human resource development and institutional management capabilities. Through this integrated approach, the Programme seeks to demonstrate that strengthening cultural identity can go hand in hand with socio-economic progress.
Going beyond mere restoration of monuments, the Programme engages in activities related to adaptive re-use, contextual urban planning and the improvement of housing, infrastructure and public spaces. It carries out related socio-economic development initiatives directed at upgrading local living conditions and improving quality of life.
Investments in single project locations or regions are coordinated with other Aga Khan Development Network programmes so that they reinforce each other as they grow together into a critical mass for positive change. In all project locations, community participation and training of local professionals are essential components.
The Garden Pavilion was built in the late nineteenth century by Amir Abdur Rahman Khan (1880-1901), over a Mughal water channel and pool in the center of the garden's central axis. It has a basement with west-facing windows. The first floor, which is enveloped by a wide verandah on all four sides, centers on a large reception hall flanked by two smaller rooms. The hall is adorned with stenciled metal ceilings. The Pavilion was badly damaged in 1992/3 and restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) during 2003/4. The trunk of a large plane (chenar) tree stands next to it as a reminder of the scale of the trees that died when irrigation was halted during recent conflicts.