The village of Kot Karamat is about 50 kms from metropolitan Lahore. The farmhouse and ancillary buildings are part of an agricultural compound and were intended to serve as prototypes. The objective of the project was:
To encourage the residents to collaborate in the development of their village;
To construct prototypical workers' houses in order to demonstrate the advantages of permanent dwellings; and
To explore the potential of local materials within the restraints of costs, climate, and available skills.
The compound consists of a farmhouse for the owner and his family, a row of eight storage sheds, and workers' houses. One of the sheds has been converted to the foreman's residence and a worker's house was modified to a three-room school. The owner of the farmhouse intended to build only a farmhouse and ancillary buildings. Later, the scope of the project was increased to try to improve the conditions of the village. A master plan was developed providing permanent dwelling units, utilities and social services such as street drains, community toilets, a mosque, and a school. The workers' houses were intended as prototypes demonstrating to the villagers the advantages of permanent dwellings. Due to scepticism on the part of the local inhabitants, and problems with financing, the Master Plan was not realised. However, the local council took an interest in the project, and paid half the cost of the school. A number of prototypical houses for the villagers were constructed. The main goal became the development of a system which would be very low in cost and sufficiently flexible to permit a variety of uses. Since the cheapest available and permanent building material was brick, it was decided to exploit the potential of brick to the maximum.
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture