Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan’s first-ever female architect, was named the 2020 recipient of the Jane Drew Prize, the Architects’ Journal announced today. The 79-year-old Lari was honored with the lifetime achievement prize for raising the profile of women practicing in architecture and design through her work.
The prize is part of the Architects’ Journal and Architectural Record’s W Awards, formerly known as the Women in Architecture Awards. The prize has been awarded to trailblazers like Elizabeth Diller, Denise Scott Brown, Odile Decq, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects’, and the late Kathryn Findlay.
After graduating from the Oxford School of Architecture in 1964, Lari established her own practice, Lari Associates, in Karachi and became the first female architect in Pakistan. Some of her works include commercial buildings in Karachi like the Finance and Trade Centre, the Pakistan State Oil House, the Anguri Bagh housing project in Lahore, and the Lines Area Resettlement self-built housing complex. She has also built over 36,000 houses for those affected by the floods and earthquakes in Pakistan since 2010, where she uses vernacular building techniques and locally sourced materials. Although Lari retired from architecture in 2000, she continues to work on humanitarian and historical preservation projects in her native country.