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NusserWanji Building conservation and pREservation

The year was 1988, the place, Seoul, Korea, where the Asian Congress of Architects was taking place. Attending the Congress were a delegation of architects and their spouses from Pakistan. As the deliberations went on, another vision was taking shape, that of an Art and Architecture School for Karachi.Two separate groups had been thinking about the need for an institution of excellence, one in the field of architecture, the other in art and design. Ideas, thoughts, ideals were shared, the common thread being the urgent need of the city for such an institution.Architects Arshad Abdulla and Javaid Haider had earlier worked on the feasibility for an architecture school, to go beyond what the existing institutions had to offer. At the same time, a group of the alumni of the Central Institute of Art and Crafts (CIAC), who had been engaged in an effort to revitalize the ailing institute, had been frustrated by resistance from the CIAC Board of Governors. It was Professors Zahoor Ul Akhlaque and Iqbal Hassan who advised the group to abandon its futile attempts to save the CIAC and divert its energies towards creating a new institution of Art.

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frere hall preservation

The historic Frere Hall continues to face preservation issues since 1950s. The need for its re-habilitation was realized sometime back and plans were developed. In recent past the Sindh Exploration and Adventure Society and Karachi Municipal Corporation have started paying closer attention to it, where-in the conservation and re-habilitation needs have been identified as: a) Immediate measure required, b) To be followed by the in-depth studies for interventions and c) The Conservation works, to be undertaken, phase-wise, and as per the re-sources available. Rehabilitation work on the Frere Hall began in the month of October 2020; it initially focuses on Restoration of its Original Timber Flooring on First that include Hall, side Transept, Verandahs on three sides and dual Stair Way. The Technical Team of SEAS Pakistan utilize its full strength to bring back the flooring into its original condition, various Conservation measure were taken with multiple steps such as: • First Stage deliberate and low-grade Scrapping, to remove the stains, of multiple coats and colors, raisins and epoxies • Repair and Replacement of the damaged Timber Planks • Cleaning of the Loose Particles • Filling the Gaps in Between and under the damaged Planks • Clearing and Filling the Cavities on Surface • Re Scrapping of the Planks • First Coat of adequate cleanser • Scrapping and application of thinner • Second Coat of cleanser • First Coat of Finishing / Lacquer.

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