ARCHITECT on ARCHITECTURE
By: Laique Rehman
Prominent Pakistani Architect Abdul Rahman Hye passed away in Islamabad on September 18, 2008. Mr. A.R. Hye is considered the father of Institutional Architecture in Pakistan. He was father of Laique Rehman and father in law of Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui and Syed Waliullah Husaini
He was the first Chief Architect of the Govt. of West Pakistan and the Govt. of Punjab. He was laid to rest at the H-8 Graveyard in Islamabad on September 19 after Jumah prayers.
Early life and training
Mr. Hye was born on December 17, 1919. After his graduation from JJ School of Architecture in Bombay, Mr. Hye traveled by boat from Bombay to the United Kingdom, to train as an architect. He received his architecture degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1947. He was then admitted to the membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in the same year.
Mr. Hye arrived in Europe after World War II, and witnessed first-hand the reconstruction of Europe. This experience influenced his architecture and his philosophy, and once he returned to the Indian subcontinent he specialized in using indigenous resources to provide maximum comfort. On his return home he was one of the few qualified architects in his newly independent Pakistan..
Mr. Hye returned to the UK in the 1960s again, to specialize in Tropical Architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. This gave him a new dimension in developing architectural designs that suited the tropical climate of Pakistan.
While Mr. Hye was in the UK, India had gained independence from Britain, and had been partitioned into India and Pakistan. Mr. Hye moved to East Pakistan after his return, where his education and background gave him the opportunity to use his skills to influence the architectural landscape of his country at a very early stage. He is considered the father of Institutional Architecture in Pakistan.
His first major assignment in East Pakistan was to design and build the infrastructure of the new country. Thus in the 1950s, early in his career, Mr. Hye became the Chief Town Planner of the port city of Chittagong. In this capacity, he was responsible for working on the master plan of Chittagong Township, the Cox's Bazaar, and he also worked as Architect Planner in Dhaka.
In 1958 he moved to West Pakistan, and joined the Government in 1959 to become the first Chief Architect of the Government of West Pakistan. He was responsible for the architectural design of all government buildings in the cities and towns of West Pakistan, including Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Jhelum, Bahawalpur, Sialkot, Gujrat, Mardan, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Hyderabad, Mianwali, and Kalabagh. He remained in this key position until West Pakistan was broken into four provinces in 1969, after the resignation of President Ayub Khan. Thereafter, he was asked to become the Chief Architect of the Government of Punjab, the largest of the four provinces. Based in Lahore, he remained in that position until his retirement from government service in 1981.
As Chief Architect of West Pakistan and Punjab, his designs included colleges, schools, polytechnic institutions, hospitals, housing schemes and townships. During this period, he designed more buildings than any other architect of his era in Pakistan. The best known of his projects is the Bahawalpur Medical College, now renamed Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, in Bahawalpur. His projects also included many Tehsil Hospitals.
His buildings were constructed before air conditioning became commonplace in the region. Thus, his designs are adapted to their conditions, and are an example of "tropical architecture". The buildings incorporated strategically placed windows and overhangs, and relied on natural ventilation to moderate the extremely hot climate. Bold overhangs and courtyards are characteristic of his designs. These overhangs provided natural shade to the exterior walls of the building, protecting it from intense heat during summer, and acting as a barrier to winter cold winds, which are characteristic of the climate of inland Pakistan.
Upon his retirement from service in 1981, Mr. Hye spent a few years traveling and living in the USA. Since 1995, he had been living a retired life in Islamabad in a house designed by himself.
Some of the select projects designed by Mr. Hye include:
" Bahawalpur Medical College, now Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur.
" Khyber Medical College, Peshawar.
" Buildings at Mayo Hospital, Lahore (1960-80).
" Buildings at Nishter Medical College, Multan (1960-80)
" Auditorium, Lahore College for Women University.
" Mosque, Gazetted Officers Residences (GOR) I, Lahore.
" Additions to APWA College for Women.
" Minister's Residences, Lahore.
" Officers Housing, GOR III Shadman, Lahore.
Mr. Hye leaves behind his wife Mrs. Qudsia Rehman, his son Laique Rehman, his daughter Fatima (wife of Syed Waliullah Husaini), and daughter Ayesha (wife of Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui), and 8 grandchildren.