The fast-changing skyline of Islamabad
For years, a bank building at Zero Point stood majestically as the most impressive in the town but that status has now been taken away by structures and landmarks that dot the Islamabad skyline today.
Massive development has seen several new buildings come up while other more stylish and mighty buildings are being built with a promise to make the capital look truly modern in the years to come.
The under construction Centaurus complex in the commercial heartland of the city will have a 37-storey hotel, 21-storey residential apartments and a 25-storey corporate office tower besides a shopping mall.
The magnificent design of the complex indeed threatens to overshadow some of the existing buildings and those that would eventually rise. With the National Monument at Shakarparian on one side and the regal Faisal Mosque on the other, the trio of skyscrapers at the Centaurus complex is bound to stand out.
Just as the Faisal Mosque sitting in the lap of the Margalla Hills is a setting fit for a picture postcard, town planners see Centaurus as another of Islamabad’s significant landmarks on its completion in 2010.
With development underway at breakneck speed across the town, be it the construction of new roads, underpasses and interchanges, gardens and parks, hotels and hospitals and what not. The town surely looks well on way to matching any modern metropolis elsewhere.
But problems remain. A long stretch of commercial buildings in Blue Area are an eyesore with no plaza, barring perhaps only a few, that could be rated as having quality looks. However some of the tall buildings just across the road seem to make up for that somehow.
The plazas in Blue Area have long been the blot on the face of the town. “The least the owners of these buildings can do is to have them whitewashed, so that they do not look as dirty as they are,” said a local Shafaqat Yar Khan.
Abdul Shakoor, a bank employee, pointed out that not even a single plaza in the entire length of this commercial hub had been built with any aesthetic sense. “I hope that some of the new buildings being constructed would have appropriate designs,” he said.
While it might take months and in some cases years to see all of the development projects having been completed, the latest addition to Islamabad’s string of buildings, the National Monument, has come as a breath of fresh air. Located atop the Shakarparian Hills, the monument’s blossoming flower petals represent the four provinces, which converge upon the crescent and star and depict the firm resolve of people from diverse cultures to guard their national unity.
Designed by Arif Masoud, the monument is a fine example of a combination of art and architecture yet there are people who question the colours chosen by those involved. “Since it represents flower petals some bright colours would have been more appropriate,” said Ansar Kitana, an interior decorator.
But still despite minor objections here and there, it is an addition that has been widely welcomed by the general public now keenly looking forward to more landmarks with which they could identify themselves.