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.


7 Comments so far

  1. SELF (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

    What, no pics?

  2. Zay (unregistered) on August 4th, 2007 @ 3:34 am

    Nodoubt in near future islamabad will ve some landmarks and then underpassed and overhead bridges will be useful for the smooth flow of expected heavy traffic, but unfortunatley town planners are making a big mistake to make a cluster of commercial buildings in the centre of the city. they have undermine the traffic flow and the biggest problem will be the parking areas which i never have find any during my last visit to islamabad two months back. even now its huge traffic flow and imagine it after other commercial buildings and there is not a single parking place which will be availbel to accomadate this traffic. what is happening in europe right now is that they are restricting the flow of traffic in the certers of the citties. people have to park their cars outside of the center and then they must ve to travel on foot or bici. but in islamabad twon planners even forgot the reserve the parking area to built in the future when it will be needed. and at the end these mega structures will add in to the hectic road travel.

  3. Purple_Haze (unregistered) on August 4th, 2007 @ 6:38 am

    Hey any news (pics) of The Centaurus? Has it started yet? We are anxiously waiting for it :)

  4. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on August 4th, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

    @purple_haze: anxiously waiting??

    Got a suite booked??

    Well work on it is in progress – still we cant see any thing raising above the hoardings :-)

    So b patient it will take lots of time!!

  5. SELF (unregistered) on August 4th, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

    A tall building needs deep foundations.

    Their work is underground at the moment. :)

  6. phil (unregistered) on August 5th, 2007 @ 4:56 am

    The could have named it a bit better… Centuras! wtf?!?!

  7. SELF (unregistered) on August 6th, 2007 @ 4:10 am

    “Centuras! wtf”

    I like this one :)

    like fcuk :P

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