Abdur rehman Hye
Abdur rehman Hye

Abdur Rahman full name Abdur Rahman Haye  famous as A.R. Hye. He was a Pakistani architect and a pioneer of institutional architectures in Pakistan.

Name:Abdur Rahman Hye
In Urdu:عبد الرحمن حئ
Famous As:A.R. Hye
Education:Sir J. J. College of Architecture University of Edinburgh
Design:Auditorium, Lahore College for Women University Additions to APWA College for Women Minister’s Residences, Lahore
Projects:Buildings at Mayo Hospital Buildings at Nishtar Medical College of Multan Mosque, Gazetted Officers Residences (GOR) I, Lahore Minister’s Residences, Lahore
Buildings:Generals Combatant Army Headquarters (GHQ) Quaid-e-Azam Medical College Khyber Medical College Gazetted Officers Housing, GOR III Lahore
Date:17 December 1919
Place:Hyderabad, Hyderabad State (Present-day Andhra Pradesh, India)
Children: Laique, Fatimah and Ayesha
Date:18 September 2008
Rest Place:Islamabad, Pakistan

A. R. Hye and wife Qudsia at a historic Mughal Architecture site in LahorePakistani architect and a pioneer


Abdur Rahman was a very kind and loving person. In spite of all his achievements he was a very humble man. He was very disciplined, intelligent and focused. No one ever saw him raising his voice or losing his temper, he was even kind with those who worked for him. He passed away in Ramadan and his funeral was attended by over 1300 people. May Allah grant him paradise.Long after his death thousands of students  graduated each year from the schools, colleges, universities and polytechnic institutes he designed, and patients get cured at the hospitals he designed and his other works  continued to touch the daily lives of people years after his death.[1]  Biography 


He married Qudsia, with whom he had three children: Laique, Fatimah, who  married Syed Waliullah Husaini, and Ayesha, who  married Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui.


He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1951 with a degree in architecture. He was also elected into the Royal Institute of British Architects.


After graduating from Sir J.J. School of Art (subsequently known as Sir J.J. College of Architecture after 1947), Bombay in pre-partition India, A.R. Hye travelled aboard ocean liner SS Ile de France from Bombay to the United Kingdom on a trip which in those days took three weeks, on the ship and seven years in United Kingdom to train as an architect. He received his architecture degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1951 and was admitted to the membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). His early education was aquired in Hyderabad State when his family moved there temporarily.


He arrived in Europe after World War II, and witnessed first-hand the reconstruction of Europe. This experience influenced his architecture and his philosophy, and once he returned to the Indian subcontinent he specialised in using indigenous resources to provide maximum comfort. On his return home he was one of the few qualified architects in his newly independent country. In 1952, after his return from the UK, A.R. Hye married Qudsia. 


A.R. Hye returned to the UK in the 1960s, to specialise in Tropical Architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.[2]  Training 


While A.R. Hye was in the UK, India had gained independence from Britain, and had been partitioned into India and Pakistan. Hye moved to East Pakistan after his return, where his education and background gave him the opportunity to use his skills to influence the architectural landscape of his country at a very early stage. A.R. Hye is considered the father of Institutional Architecture in Pakistan.

First Major Assignment

His first major assignment in East Pakistan was to design and build the infrastructure of the new country. Thus in the 1950s, early in his career, Hye became the Chief Town Planner of the port city of Chittagong. In this capacity, he was responsible for working on the master plan of Chittagong Township, the Cox’s Bazaar, and he also worked as Architect Planner in Dhaka.

Moved to West Pakistan

In 1958 he moved to West Pakistan, and joined the Government in 1959 to become the first Chief Architect of the Government of West Pakistan. He was responsible for the architectural design of all government buildings in the cities and towns of West Pakistan, including Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Jhelum, Bahawalpur, Sialkot, Gujrat, Mardan, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Hyderabad, Mianwali, and Kalabagh. He remained in this key position until West Pakistan was broken into four provinces in 1969, after the resignation of President Ayub Khan. Thereafter, he was asked to become the Chief Architect of the Government of Punjab, the largest of the four provinces. Based in Lahore, he remained in that position until his retirement from government service in 1981.

Chief Architect of West Pakistan and Punjab

As Chief Architect of West Pakistan and Punjab, his designs included colleges, schools, polytechnic institutions, hospitals, housing schemes and townships. During this period, he designed more buildings than any other architect of his era in Pakistan.The best known of his projects is the Bahawalpur Medical College, now renamed Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, in Bahawalpur. His projects also included many Tehsil Hospitals.


His buildings were constructed before air conditioning became commonplace in the region. Thus, his designs are adapted to their conditions, and are an example of “tropical architecture”. The buildings incorporated strategically placed windows and overhangs, and relied on natural ventilation to moderate the extremely hot climate. Bold overhangs and courtyards are characteristic of his designs. These overhangs provided natural shade to the exterior walls of the building, protecting it from intense heat during summer, and acting as a barrier to winter cold winds, which are characteristic of the climate of inland Pakistan.


Upon his retirement from service in 1981, A.R. Hye spent a few years traveling and living in the USA. Since 1995, he lived a retired life in Islamabad in a house designed by himself. A.R. Hye died on September 18, 2008.

Father of Institutional Architecture

Considered the father of Institutional Architecture in Pakistan. He was heavily influenced by the post-World War II reconstruction of Europe, leading him to emphasize natural ventilation, wind flow, and the careful positioning of windows, courtyards, and overhangs in his structures.[3]  Father of Institutional Architecture 

Infrastructure of Pakistan

He was assigned to design and build the infrastructure of Pakistan when India earned independence and split into India and Pakistan.

Elected Projects

  1. Bahawalpur Medical College, now Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur 
  2. Khyber Medical College, Peshawar
  3. Buildings at Mayo Hospital, Lahore (1960-80)
  4. Buildings at Nishter Medical College, Multan (1960-80)
  5. Auditorium, Lahore College for Women University
  6. Mosque, Gazetted Officers Residences (GOR) I, Lahore
  7. Additions to APWA College for Women
  8. Minister’s Residences, Lahore
  9. Officers Housing, GOR III Shadman, Laho
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