Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates is an internationally acclaimed architectural practice established in 1978. Throughout its working history, the firm has served notable clients and produced a wide of portfolio that spans across from the private to the public sector. Due to a number of sensitive public projects, the firm enjoys a strong and highly respectable position as a leading design firm in Pakistan. The practice has the honor of receiving the Agha Khan Award for Architecture in 1998 for the Alhamra Arts Center in Lahore, Pakistan. Nayyar Ali Dada was also a member of the AKAA Master Jury in 1995. Other accolades include the Arcasia Gold Medal and an honorable mention at the Kenneth Brown Awards, USA. Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates includes a team of dynamic, responsible and responsive Architects, Designers, Interior architects and Horticulturists for Landscape design as its core staff. This team has been able to inculcate a sense of forward looking and creative design that is appropriately rooted in the region’s history, culture and the arts. The firm’s projects address a diverse range of building typologies and clients representing a complex urban fabric that is inherent in a developing country. All works are seemingly woven together by a clear sense of direction that lies in design appropriation for the people of this region.
The office has worked together as a passionate team focused on valuable and appropriate concepts that demonstrate a great sense of belonging to the region but also by having a keen eye on the contemporary ideas, practices and futuristic thought. Issues such as sustainability and cost effectiveness have always been an area of concern given the conditions experienced in a developing country. Pragmatic but artistic and creative thought has been continuously engrained in the work produced by the firm that has enjoyed much acclaim owing to such a direction. The firm has a valuable experience in restoration and rehabilitation projects throughout Pakistan. Such projects have ranged from restoration of Interior works to public plazas where the aim has been to bring back to life the original values and intent of places that are of historic, cultural and artistic significance. Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates have become synonymous with Architectural landmarks and are attributed with the success of many such as the Alhamra Art Centre, Open Air Theatre, Qaddafi Stadium, Bahria Tower / Mall of Lahore (premium mall outlet), Expo Centre Lahore, Shakir Ali Museum and many other landmarks.
Dada, the founding Partner has become the most well-known advocate of local arts and crafts, music and literature, and enjoys the privilege of being on the boards of various institutions. His contribution is sought out in leading Arts related institutions including universities and museums. Dada started fairly young and belongs to the first batch of graduates from the National College of Arts. Affiliated with brilliant artists including a mentor such as Shakir Ali, and having lived in the historic city of Lahore, he understands the sensibilities and modern artistic values while not losing respect and perspective of the historic city. It soon became clear that his early super modern (relatively speaking) or sometimes rather brutalist-styled buildings would give way to buildings with a local flair.
He has contributed immensely towards the public works in Lahore where he is credited with a number of well appreciated public venues whether they are institutional, educational or serve the visual or performing arts. With the Agha Khan Award winning Alhamra Art Center, he demonstrated the aptness of new forward looking concepts which would carry the historical or regional element in a creative manner. Various works since then have asserted his position as the leading personality in the industry that not only guides us but inspires and encourages us to examine the programs and issues from the eyes of a pragmatic, creative and local architect. His projects are regularly under scrutiny for awards nominations, while he himself has received a number of them including the President’s Pride of Performance, and Sitara-e-Imtiaz, the highest civil honor in the country.
Having a similar path as Dada into his professional career, Ghazanfar has been able to support and guide the office for a number of years. He has almost magically given form to a number of brilliant concepts that provide valuable reassurance to various teams working in the office. He has naturally assumed the role of a teacher where students and professionals alike connect with him on a regular basis for various discussions and debate. A known master of beautiful concept drawings and renderings, he continues to explore the creative threshold and continues to develop designs that vary greatly in program and scale. Known for his passionate approach to design, he enjoys being an active source and guide for most young professionals, and continues to produce inspiring concepts and designs.
Representing the new generation, Raza has managed to experience diverse environments in terms of understanding design and its consequences. Following his Master’s degree in New York City, he explored his potential as a creative professional in New York for over 8 years. Entrusted with significant design duties and authority, he contributed to the SBLM Architects design studio for a number of years. His experience covers a wide range of building types such as educational, commercial, mixed use-high rise, residential apartments, entertainment, retail and institutional to name a few. His efforts were seen through projects out of SBLM’s three offices based in New York, Miami and Dublin, Ireland. Being a supporter of sustainability, he is also a LEED AP. (US Green Building Council).
Having moved to Pakistan in 2008, he has managed to provide valuable insight to many ongoing projects. He is keen to develop himself as critical support for the young learning professionals through his visiting faculty position at the School of Visual Arts, Beaconhouse National University, and frequents the National College of Arts for studio and student reviews. His interests are reflected in his growing involvement at the Nairang Art Galleries. Being an Industrial design enthusiast, he is developing a range of objects including furniture and light fixtures etc. Raza has interests in bringing ‘many worlds’ together but is sensitive to “who” builds “where” related issues which are not uncommon as the developments and progress around the globe brings most people much closer to each other. ‘It is critical to examine and revisit different cultures and their history in order to realistically, artistically and creatively provide new concepts and environments for the coming years’. He is currently discussing ideas of collaborating with artists for architectural projects in Pakistan and exploring the possibilities of working in the anticipated new environments in the UAE.