Start Submission

Reading: The Charing Cross: Unfolding a Genius Loci in Lahore, Pakistan


A- A+
Alt. Display


The Charing Cross: Unfolding a Genius Loci in Lahore, Pakistan


Hafsa Imtiaz ,

National College of Arts, 4-Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Lahore, PK
X close

Mehreen Mustafa

Adjacent Govt. Technical College, Main Raiwind Road, Lahore, PK
About Mehreen
Institute for Art and Culture
X close


The Charing Cross, Lahore may be ranked as more than simply the junction of roads. It is a memorial representing architectural, social and cultural history of Lahore. Imprints of Colonial, post-colonial and modern era can be traced if the evolution of architectural space and elements of The Charing Cross, Lahore are closely examined. The multi-faceted space of The Charing Cross, Lahore is understood if a temporal cross-section of the square is cut and critically analyzed. Designed and built during the British (colonial) times, the square has, from the beginning, marked its genius through its ideal location and spatial quality. From being a centrally located square with carefully marked monuments and buildings to a democratic and recently politically charged demonstration space, the square in Lahore has changed with time but retains its Genius Loci through its form and events. In addition, a number of attempts made for shifting the location and position of the monument within the confined periphery of Chowk demonstrates how the monument has been treated by the ruling elite and people of Lahore at different times. The Charing Cross, Lahore is seen as a palimpsest with each layer of time and space reinforcing the genius Loci of the square within the city of Lahore. The paper analyzes the juxtaposition of time and space boundaries that have contributed in making the historic Chowk of The Charing Cross Lahore; a genius Loci.


The paper begins with an introduction to the space with a brief background to its history and evolution. It then moves towards introducing the theory and the methodology through which the paper signifies the square in relation to the events. Supported by the critical analysis of the historical (physical and social) evolution of the square, the paper establishes the significance of The Charing Cross and its genius Loci.
How to Cite: Imtiaz, H. and Mustafa, M., 2018. The Charing Cross: Unfolding a Genius Loci in Lahore, Pakistan. Cities People Places : An International Journal on Urban Environments, 3(1), pp.1–16. DOI:
Published on 31 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed


  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus