The Institute of Architects, Pakistan (IAP) was established in 1957 by a small group of architects who had been trained in the west and either worked for the government or were in practice. IAP was formally registered in 1968 under the Societies Act, and subsequently registered in 1968 under the Companies Ordinance, with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) with the following objectives:
- To organize the profession of architecture in Pakistan and look after professional interests as well as those of the public in general concerned with the building profession.
- To promote the cause of Architecture in Pakistan and to assist in the setting up of schools of architecture throughout the country.
- To enforce a code of ethics and discipline among practicing architects and for this purpose to promote the passing of a statutory Registration Act for architects in Pakistan.
- To establish contact with other national and international professional bodies of architects throughout the world, and
- To conduct research and organize seminars, conferences and exhibitions for promoting the cause of the architectural profession.
Over the years IAP has to its credit the establishment of the first school of architecture in Karachi, in 1954, which was subsequently upgraded to a five-year degree program. Members of IAP have been instrumental in setting up and running many of the other architecture schools in the country. Apart from the majority of the full-time faculty who are members of IAP, a large numbers of senior members of IAP are associated with schools as visiting professors, thesis advisors or jurors.
Through the consistent efforts and lobbying of IAP, the profession of Architecture and Town Planning received the due recognition and protection with the establishment of the statutory registration body, Pakistan Council of Architects & Town Planners (PCATP) in 1983.
IAP has conducted several architectural design competitions at local, national and international levels for the government and corporate clients.