Minoo Pirozshah Mistri (1912-2006) (Honarary Architect and Secratary of BVS Parsi High School)
B orn November 30th, 1912 in Bombay, Minoo Mistri grew up in a family that had to struggle for a living. Coming from a long line of architects and builders, Minoo was the 5th generation of builders to take on the family’s occupation. His father was mechanical engineer and his grand father was the top most carpenter in-charge of Railway bogey construction and an expert woodworker. From his mother’s side Minoo’s great grandfather worked on the famous Victoria Terminus in Bombay. Minoo’s parents knew the value of a good education and when he was studying in class 4, he had already made up his mind to become an architect.
Minoo lost his father at a very young age and due to difficult financial conditions was brought up by his aunt. After completing his architecture he got his FRIBA (Fellow Royal Institute of British Architects) degree. Minoo worked with his uncle for seven years in Bombay building houses and flats and then came to Karachi April 14th 1943. The population of Karachi at that time was 2.5 million and World War II was going on so there was no civilian construction permitted. Sind Construction Company was doing some work for the Indian Army so he joined them working as an architect. His second job lasted till 1945 and when WWII was over Minoo decided to start his own business as an architect with a capital of Rs. 32 and 8 annas in the bank. He owned a bicycle and with his solar hat on, made his rounds to all of the projects that he was in charge of.
In 1945 there was only one other qualified FRIBA architect (named Shamjee) in Lahore and there was a shortage of qualified architects after partition. In 1949 only two years after independence Minoo was given his first major project to design the National Bank of Pakistan (now Grindlays Bank on I.I. Chundrigar Road). That same year he got married to Deena Soparivala and lived a very happy married life for 57 years.
National Grinlays Bank - Karachi
Minoo was the founding member of the Institutes of Architects in Pakistan (IAP). He even held the position of President of IAP and was the first and one of the early architects of newly independent Pakistan.
An excellent craftsman in wood, a painters and a sculptor, he himself painted scenes and designed murals for many of his projects.
Mural for Capitol Cinema
He built many structures for the Parsi community and also built churches and mosques in not only Pakistan but also in Bangladesh. He worked as an honest and hardworking architect from 1936-1998 - for 62 years. His most famous design is the national monument "Teen Talwar" at Clifton, which was chosen and commissioned by President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
Minoo passed away on March 4th 2006 leaving behind his mark on planet earth - with many of his beautifully designed structures. He was a simple and humble man with a great sense of humor - who lived a full life and was a wonderful father. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Police HQ - Karachi
Some of the major projects of Minoo P. Mistri: National Grindlays Bank – Karachi
Teen Talwar – Karachi (Commissioned by President Bhutto)
Presidents Swimming Pool – Karachi
Police Head Quarters – Karachi
Minerva Court, residential flats – Karachi
Vesta Court, residential flats – Karachi
Extension to City court – Karachi
G-Type Officers Housing Scheme for CDA – Islamabad
Residential Hostel for 320 students – Mymensingh
Capitol Cinema – Karachi
Rio Cinema – Karachi
Dreamland Cinema – Karachi
Balaka Cinema – Dacca
Cinema and Theaters for Mr. Hassan – Dacca
Hoorbai Hajiani Secondary School for Girls – Karachi
Jamshed Memorial Hall, Theosophists Society – Karachi
Polytechnic College – Multan
Bank of Bhawalpur building – Multan
Faruki Flour & General Mills Korangi – Karachi
A through H Type Quarters for CDA – Islamabad
Dawood Nylon Plant – Karachi
Wahab Archade and Offices – Karachi
Hotel Sinbad – Multan
Additions to Johnson & Philips Electrical Goods Factory – Karachi
Mosque in Multan
Extension of BVS Parsi School (canteen and extra class rooms)
BVS School Stage, Library and Technical class
Protestant Church in Hyderabad
Re-construction of Parsi Fire Temple, Saddar – Karachi
Infectious disease Hospital – Multan
Various residential Bungalows and Flats in various cities around Pakistan