Low Income Housing| By ARCOP | Al-Azhar Garden Housing


Al-Azhar Garden Housing

Type Residential 
Location Sector 35-B, Scheme 33 Karachi, Pakistan
Plot Area 127’477 m2
  Ground Floor Area   38’931 m2
Groos Area 164’733 m2
Project Cost 21,278,040 USD approx
Architecture Firm

Arcop Associates


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Architects Syed Yawar Jilani, M Khan
Clients Pioneer Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd Karachi, Pakistan
Project Commisioning 1993
Design 1993-2000
Occupancy 2004

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 neighborhoods – in contrast to the tattered urbanity of Karachi as a whole – and organized 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.

Design theme used at individual dwelling design level and also at the community design scale were

1- Home as an individual expression of identity and self-pride.

2-privacy in the eastern context

3-expressions of vernacular

4-sensitivity to people social systems religion and ways of living

5-reliance on wind shading devices recycled water to create a sustainable design.

The Master plan is held together by a layered sequence of spaces that take people from public to private areas such as chowks and maidans(squares and plazas) to eight different mohallas. From the mohallas, apartment blocks are accessed through individualized courts (which could be used for a number of activities.).

The apartments themselves are entered through sehans (terraced courts). The sehan is an open to sky area with 7 feet high partition screen/wall for privacy. In some building types the living room is incorporated as the central space forming a core to all the other areas and in others this space becomes a double height area providing an important element of relief and acting as vertical wind catching device.

Recessed windows act as horizontal wind catchers. This allows for the wind to be directed indoors while providing sunshade. Backs of the housing units have been developed as parking areas and vegetable gardens.


In an effort to bring in an individualized expression each owner would be given at the time of booking personal choices for the entry door design, window style sehan façade design materials and patterns for sehan floor ,design of safety grills and exterior paint colour from a range selected by the architect .

The linear site in the south west direction has maximum frontage, unfortunately not in the wind direction. The green belt adjacent to the site held advantages of views and reducing traffic flow.

An important movement sequence for the community is the daily ritualistic visit to the jammat khana (mosque) which along with a clinic vocational school and utility store from the central node and are connected to the mohallas by a central pedestrian spine. This public space not only evokes a strong sense of community but also brings together public amenities and from architecture of continuous spaces that surround the observer.





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3 Responses

  1. Mukesh kumar says:

    Could you send me detail of payment schedule of flats

  2. AR.Ambalavanan M.Arch says:

    good tropical design nice match with sourrounding

  3. Maryam says:

    kindly share the plans .

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