Losing our past
Article by Ar.M.Tariq
Lecturer Architecture department
CECOS University Peshawar
In this developing world, everything is changing rapidly. The fashion is changed, vehicles that were used in the last decades has now completely changed. In this world where we live is constantly moving but will come again the same point after centuries from where it has started.
Architecture is also changed into so many shapes& styles. In the beginning, people were lived in caves to protect themselves and called it as home, gradually a sense of uniqueness developed and people start working on making their homes different from each other results in the evolution of many other forms & styles. Every home, every brick they laid in civilization shown a story which tell us a story that specific civilization. Art and Architecture is the only way civilization express their norms and culture that why people today know about them.
Every building we see has a story which people can hear when visit them. Every wall, every door in that building tell you a unique story. From the houses in our cities to the monuments and landmarks in our city represent something.
Each and every region has its own character of architecture, if we talk about Chinese dwellings their roofs and interiors come to mind which is completely different from those in European architecture. The Italian buildings are different from Turkish and similarly UAE has different architecture style than ours, but where is our style which represent us, this is always been my question.
We are a nation of copying without looking to our culture and precedents not only in design but in every profession.
If we look to the buildings that surrounds us there is no monotony or a symbolic design element through which we are able to say Ah! That one belongs to us.
Many elements, materials that people want actually don’t belong to their vernacular architecture that are somebody else assets, we are incorporating it into our regions which completely not fit here same like a foreigner brings a flower here and the climate or soil will not accept it so the plant will die after few days.
Although look better in that specific country here only native plants will grow similar is the analogy of architecture design elements & materials.
We have a very beautiful architecture like Mughal Architecture, British Mughal Era which are evolved and originated from these regions. Major symbolic elements from 18th and 19th-century architecture which is now blurred completely in our built environment. Our youngster even not know about them. People when visiting from other countries and see the historical architecture so they wondered after visiting to our new built environment. Another scenario which is a major cause is when people come to their Architect, their major concern is to design such a plan which they have seen in some foreign countries when they visit there, they just pick it and come up with that idea. A house plan is a result of your activities and everyday flow chart. Some concepts are completely fade due to the advent of gadgets on which every home member want isolation. Same is the case with the elevations. Very few buildings which are landmarks in terms of heights and value are representing our identity.
To solve these problem, we must be aware of our own architecture that truly works here according to our climates and tastes.
Materials are imported from abroad to fulfill our lust but after some years we get so many problems because of those materials which are difficult to explain.
It seems like we are ignoring our history, we are neglecting our major architecture elements which will result in an alien type of architecture in this country and in turn make our generations questioning us who ruled us and who we are.