Pakistan's first-ever female architect Yasmeen Lari bags prestigious Jane Drew PrizeArchive
Pakistan’s first-ever female architect, Yasmeen Lari, has been chosen for the Jane Drew Prize 2020.
According to the Architects' Journal (AJ), Lari has been honoured "for her contribution to raising the profile of women in architecture and design."
At 79, Lari joins the ranks of Zaha Hadid, Amanda Levete, Elizabeth Diller, Denise Scott Brown, Odile Decq, Grafton Architects’ founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Kathryn Findlay of Ushida Findlay and Eva Ji?i?ná.– who have all previously received the prize.
Commenting on being recognised for her efforts in architecture, Lari said: "I am touched and humbled to be included among the galaxy of architects who have received this prize."
According to AJ, Lari is known for landmark buildings in Karachi — where she set up her practice after graduating from Oxford Brookes’ architecture school in 1964. Her buildings include the Finance and Trade Centre (1983-89) and Pakistan State Oil House (1985-91).
In the early days of her career, Lari had designed the Anguri Bagh housing project in Lahore in 1973 and Lines Area Resettlement in 1980.
In later years, Lari moved to the ‘barefoot’ approach in architecture, "which aimed to tread lightly upon the plan and provide environmentally sustainable and participative solutions to lift up marginalised communities".
She started working in bamboo in 2007, providing community kitchens to refugees of the conflict in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Swat and later building community centres on stilts after floods hit KP and Sindh.
The award is named after Jane Drew, an advocate for women in a male-dominated profession.