The Boston Architectural College is pleased to announce a major step forward in achieving the teaching, learning, research, and cultural awareness goals of the partnership between the BAC and National College of Arts-Rawalpindi (NCA) sponsored by the United States Department of State, Public Affairs Section, and U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan in their University Partnership program.
One of the major objectives in the partnership is to develop a sustainable field school for architectural materials conservation education. Facilitated by the BAC/NCA partnership, on December 26, 2013 a memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Fatima Jinnah Women's University and National College of Arts that signs over the stewardship of the historic Haveli Sujan Singh located in the old city section of Rawalpindi to NCA.
The site will be utilized by the BAC/NCA partnership to develop the field school as well as an architectural museum for the community and general public. The building itself will be a "work in progress" educational tool where students and faculty will be trained in the analysis and conservation of the existing structure and materials. The project will encourage community engagement, local educational outreach, research on Pakistani cultural heritage and its conservation, and publication of the research.
"When Pakistani and U.S. Partners work together to find a common purpose that brings out the best in each, and builds on the knowledge of all, clearly public diplomacy principles are at their propitious best," stated Judith Ravin, Acting Country Cultural Affairs officer or U.S Embassy-Islamabad, in a letter dated December 28, 2013 to Dr. Nadeem Omar Tartar, Director, National College of Arts Rawalpindi.
The Haveli Sujan Singh is located in the Bhabra Bazaar area of the old city of Rawalpindi, nine miles from Islamabad, in the province of Punjab in northern Pakistan. Built by the wealthy merchant, Rai Bahadur Soojan Singh in 1893, it stands four stories tall with 45 rooms and makes up 24,000 square feet.
The project teams from the two institutions will be led by Robert W. Ogle, Director of Historic Preservation Studies at the Boston Architectural College, and Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar, Director, National College of Arts Rawalpindi. Dr. Tarar visited the BAC Boston in October to initiate the collaboration. Robert Ogle visited the NCA in November to identify the Haveli Sujan Singh as the site for the field school.
According to Robert Ogle, Project Director for the partnership between the BAC and the NCA, "We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with National College of Arts - Rawalpindi to develop architectural heritage conservation programming and research that celebrates the rich and diverse culture of Pakistan."