architecture
Jun 303 min read

Yasmeen Lari: Revolutionizing Architecture for Social Impact

written by

Nishita Verma

Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan's first qualified female architect and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, has made a remarkable mark in the world of architecture. Her dedication to building disaster-resistant homes for marginalized communities and her innovative approach to sustainable design has earned her the prestigious RIBA Royal Gold Medal. In this blog, we explore six of Yasmeen Lari's transformative projects that showcase her visionary mindset and commitment to social impact.



  1. Angoori Bagh Social Housing, Pakistan, 1973:


Yasmeen Lari's pioneering project, Angoori Bagh, stands as Pakistan's first social housing scheme. Designed to provide affordable homes for low-income families, the 787 dwellings are arranged in clusters with single, double, and triple-storey blocks. The inclusion of terraces extends the living space, enhancing the quality of life for the residents.

imageSource: dezeen.com



2. Mud Brick One Room House, Pakistan, 2011:


The Mud Brick One Room House exemplifies Yasmeen Lari's expertise in disaster-resilient design. These homes feature bamboo roofs built into brick walls, providing structural stability during natural disasters. Covered in mud, residents can express their creativity by designing the front of their homes, fostering a sense of ownership and identity.

imageSource: re-thinkingthefuture.com



3. Women's Centre, Pakistan, 2011:


Designed to uplift vulnerable communities, the Women's Centre is a cylindrical bamboo building raised on stilts to avoid flooding. As part of a larger humanitarian project, it offers a safe space for education, healthcare, and empowerment. The Women's Centre, alongside a school and health clinic, serves as a beacon of hope for marginalized populations.

imageSource: dezeen.com



4. Zero Carbon Cultural Centre, Pakistan, 2017:


As the largest bamboo structure in Pakistan, the Zero Carbon Cultural Centre showcases Yasmeen Lari's commitment to sustainability. This remarkable pavilion, enclosed by decorative bamboo screens, serves as a hub for social gatherings and workshops. It fosters creativity, community engagement, and empowerment within poor and marginalized communities.

imageSource: dezeen.com



5. Lari Octa Green Shelters, Pakistan, 2018:


Continuing her mission to provide affordable and sustainable housing, Yasmeen Lari designed the Lari Octa Green Shelters. These mud-covered bamboo shelters are located on the site of the Zero Carbon Cultural Centre and provide low-cost lodging for visitors attending conferences at the community centre. These shelters exemplify Lari's dedication to creating dignified living spaces for disadvantaged individuals.

imageSource: dezeen.com



6. Islamic Arts Biennale Pop-up Mosques, Saudi Arabia, 2023:


In a unique project showcasing cultural and architectural fusion, Yasmeen Lari designed three dismantlable mosques made from bamboo. These pop-up mosques feature prayer spaces surrounded by colonnades and pyramidal roofs, offering a serene and enjoyable environment for worship. The design challenges the notion of concrete structures and brings beauty and spirituality to prayer spaces.

imageSource: dezeen.com


Yasmeen Lari's exceptional contributions to the field of architecture have reshaped our understanding of what is possible. Through her six must-see projects, we have witnessed the harmonious fusion of visionary design, sustainable practices, and community engagement. Yasmeen Lari's work serves as an inspiration for architects and enthusiasts alike, reminding us of the immense potential that architecture holds in shaping a better future.

Nishita Verma

Nishita Verma

A creative graphic designer with a wanderlust for exploring diverse cultures and capturing their essence through travel.