Pakistan’s first-ever female architect awarded with prestigious Jane Drew Prize 2020

This prize is a prestigious award named after Jane Drew, an advocate for women in a male-dominant profession


Yasmeen Lari has made Pakistan proud by becoming the first-ever female architect to win the Jane Drew Prize 2020. She has been given the prize for her contribution towards raising the profile of women in design and architecture.

The prize is a prestigious award named after Jane Drew, an advocate for women in a male-dominant profession. Previously, this award has been won by Odile Decq, Grafton Architects’ founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Eva Jiiná and Kathryn Findlay of Ushida Findlay.

The 79-year-old Yasmeen is now among the other famous names who won the award, such as Amanda Levete, Denise Scott Brown, Elizabeth Diller and Zaha Hadid.

Yasmeen Lari is famous for designing landmark buildings in Karachi, where she began her practice after graduating from Oxford Brookes’ architecture school in 1964. Her buildings include Pakistan State Oil House (1985-91) and Finance and Trade Centre (1983-89).

Before these, she worked on the Anguri Bagh housing project in Lahore in 1973 and Lines Area Resettlement in 1980. The Lines Area Resettlement was a complex self-built housing for residents covering more than 80ha in Karachi.

Later, the woman turned to a ‘barefoot’ architecture. The aim of this was to step lightly upon the plan and provide environmental sustainability and solutions to uplift marginalized communities.
In 2007, she started working with bamboo, providing community kitchens to refugees of conflict in Swat. She also built community centers on stilts after floods hit the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces.

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