Potohari Art and Craft Village | By Naeem Pasha Architects & Planning Consultants | Islamabad , Pakistan
Potohari Art and Craft Village
|Plot Area||26 Acres|
|Architecture Design Firm||Naeem Pasha Architects & Planning Consultants
The “Potohari” – Art & Craft Village has been constructed on 26 acres of area. Potohari organization was formed by citizens of Islamabad in partnership with CDA to create an arts and crafts village where craftsmen from different regions of Pakistan, from Thar parkar to Chitral and from Kashmir to Kashmor could be brought in one place throughout the year to showcase the indigenous crafts of Pakistan and to show it in capital for everyone to witness. This brings the whole of Pakistan in one place to encourage people to visit these places from where this crafts originate. It has an art and crafts museum, research facilities in different mediums from tapestry to ceramics to iron smithy. It also has 5 artist hostels for visiting artists. It has a food court which brings regional foods to the capital. It also has accommodation for the craftsmen visiting periodically.
The culture centre has been constructed with the view to promote the indigenous arts and handicrafts and to enhance the inter-provincial harmony. According to Capital Development Authority the exhibitions at this cultural Centre would promote the soft image of the country as the foreign diplomats and other delegates would be visiting such exhibitions in the federal capital.
Arts & Crafts Village is equipped with exhibition hall, clusters of shops, studios for the artists, tea shops, show rooms, folk theatre and hostel for the visiting artisans.
‘Potohari: Art and Craft Village’, as it is called officially, is a joint project of the CDA and Indus Heritage Trust (IHT) – a vision that celebrates and showcases the rich cultural heritage of the country that dates back to 10,000 years. The village, considered to be the forerunner of similar outlets throughout Pakistan that was meant to provide a snapshot of the cultural identity of the country, is now presenting a dilapidated condition as various buildings are in a shambles.
Designed on the pattern of Delhi Haat, India, this unique idea of public-private partnership was governed by a management committee, the CDA chairman as its head, and was managed by Indus Heritage Trust (IHT) on a voluntary basis. The CDA, in collaboration with Indus Heritage Trust, began work on the 20-acre village in January 2005. Initially, Rs 180 million was allocated for the project, but the budget was, later, increased to Rs 20 million. The village was developed within the stipulated period of three years. Currently, the village has 40 stalls, including those of art and craft, traditional cuisines and tea.
“The brilliant traditional structure, the lush green lawns and the beautiful landscape at the time of the ACV inauguration are now presenting a ruin-like atmosphere, so people avoid to go there and prefer to visit Rose and Jasmine Garden, Lok Virsa, Natural History Museum, Pak-China Friendship Centre and Pakistan Monument to spend their time,” said Talha Shakil, a visitor.
Facilities at “Potohari – The Art & Craft Village”
Craft Shops – Crafts by genuine artisans from all over Pakistan
Exhibition Hall Art Gallery – Art and Craft exhibitions
Design Center – Research and Development Center. Preservation, Promotion of Crafts
Artists Retreat / Studios – “Live in” artist accommodation for visiting artists to work and interact with the local artists/ artisans
Student Hostel – Accommodation for students working on specific dissertation work
Amphitheatre – Performing Arts
Open Air entertainment – Wandering Minstrels/Performers from all over Pakistan
Children – Friendly Play Areas
Regional Food Courts
Special Events – Regular monthly events for families
Sarai – Artisans Hostels/ Kitchen for visiting artisans
Environmentally responsible Park Areas