Intbau Pakistan’s international conference on green architecture opens with a flourish

INTBAU (International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism) Pakistan opened its three-day conference bright and early in the morning, with delegates from all over the world who came in bus-fulls to ZC3, the venue of the conference for the first two days.

With the bamboo structure of the Zero Carbon Centre colourfully decorated in green and blue the guests arriving at the venue were taken aback by the impressive arrangements made in the middle of an erstwhile beggars’ village – especially by the mud and bamboo living accommodations made for over 80 delegates and 40 students to stay overnight.

The master of ceremonies for the conference was joint secretary INTBAU Pakistan, Shanaz Ramzi who formally began the first session with recitation from the Holy Quran by a student. She welcomed the delegates and introduced all the foreign delegates that had arrived for the conference.

Robert Adam and Harriet Wennberg from UK gave a brief overview of INTBAU International, which was followed by individual briefings about their respective chapters and work by Duncan Cave and Hamdan Majeed (Malaysia), Asad I.A. Khan (Pakistan), Tomasz Jelenski (Poland), Telma Ribeiro (Portugal), Alejandro García Hermida (Spain) and Christine Franck (USA). Dr Laura Tedesco (US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Heritage) spoke on heritage management in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Laura Jones and Vernon Rapley of V&A Museum made a presentation on Introduction to global ‘Culture in Crisis’ project. They were followed by Dr Shaneen Fantin from University of Queensland, Australia who spoke on recognizing indigenous architecture in Australia: traditional and contemporary. Dr Louise Cooke of York University, UK gave a presentation on introduction to Earth Building UK & Ireland, while Samie Iqbal made a presentation on University of Liverpool’s Centre for the Study of the Architecture and Cultural Heritage of India, Arabia & the Maghreb (ARCHIAM)’s activities in international projects and case study of Oman. Kamran Lashari, director general, Lahore Walled City introduced Lahore’s walled city project. Jeremy Cross of The Prince’s Foundation and Ar. Fauzia Qureshi of ICOMOS Pakistan concluded the day’s first session.

After lunch during which delegates registered for various workshops for the next day, the second session, which also marked the formal opening of the INTBAU Training & Resource Centre — built thanks to the generous support of HRH The Prince of Wales’– by the president of Pakistan took place. After the national anthem and recitation from the holy Quran Shanaz Ramzi once again gave introductory remarks.

Yasmeen Lari, CEO Heritage Foundation and Founder Chair INTBAU Pakistan delivered her welcome address, followed by Hon. Secretary, INTBAU Pakistan Murad Jamil’s introduction to INTBAU Pakistan. Representing the Sindh Government welcomed the delegates. David Ireland executive director World Habitat Awards who had flown in especially to present Yasmeen Lari, CEO Heritage Foundation with the World Habitat Award for their challah project next spoke about the Importance of World Habitat Awards. State Minister for Climate Change then addressed the gathering.

Next, Harriet Wennberg, executive director INTBAU introduced INTBAU. HRH The Prince of Wales had sent a video message to the participants and guests assembled at Makli and before it was played, Robert Adam, Chair INTBAU introduced it. The video can be viewed at the following link:

Next came the highlight of the day – the presentation of the World Habitat Award 2018, which was presented to the president by David Ireland who in turn presented the award to Yasmeen Lari, accompanied by Champa, Kanji and Naheem Shah who had been instrumental in taking the challah project forward. President of Pakistan, Mr Arif Alvi then addressed the conference.

After refreshments delegates took a tour of Zero Carbon Campus, and appreciated the display by Lahore Walled City Authority, INGO ACTED and others. Delegates then took a tour of Makli World Heritage site before calling it a night. Some delegates left for Karachi while those staying the night at the site were invited for dinner at Keenjhar Lake by Minister for Culture, Government of Sindh.