Lutyen's Architecture

New Delhi before it being positioned as the New Imperial Capital in 1911, those commuting to Delhi had been using the Old Delhi Railway Station and the Agra-Delhi railway line was going in the midst of the present city area, what is today referred as Lutyens' Delhi. However, this line was shifted when proper plans and designs were drawn to provide space for restructuring buildings for the new capital, consequently, the New Delhi Railway Station was established near Ajmeri Gate in 1926.

The British Architect Lutyens drew designs for the central administrative area of the city with grand structure of Rashtrapati Bhavan at the centre, which was formerly referred as Viceroy's House. Rashtrapati Bhavan is built on top of Raisina Hill and the present Rajpath, known as King's Way in those days, was connecting India Gate with Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Other architects were also involved in building New Delhi, the Secretariat Building in which PMO’s office is housed now and the Parliament House at Sansad Marg was designed by Herbert Baker, while few other buildings were constructed by some other architects.

Although, it is named Lutyen’s Delhi, the architect Edwin Lutyens had designed just four bungalows in Rashtrapati Bhavan Estate area. This location was then called as the Viceroy House Estate, covering Willington Crescent, now named Mother Teresa Crescent. Lutyens, however, was involved in designing a number of Government Buildings, which are not in Lutyens’ Delhi.

The other famous architect Herbert Baker was the one who designed the Secretariat Buildings, both North and South Block, bungalows on King George's Avenue in the south of the Secretariats for accommodating high-ranking officials. The other architects who were involved in Delhi’s development were Robert Tor Russel, CG Blomfield, William Henry Nicholls, FB Blomfield, Arthur Gordon Shoosmith Walter Sykes George and Henry Medd.

Edwin Lutyens designed the part of Delhi referred as LBZ, Lutyen’s Building Zone when expanded, which was established in a span of twenty or so (1912 to 1930), located within the metropolis of Delhi. The place was then chosen to house the seat of power for British Indian Government in 1912 when shifted from Calcutta, the project having been completed in 1929 and having its formal inauguration in 1931.

By taking up this project, Lutyens established his own new order of classical architecture, which was later branded as the ‘Delhi Order’. The famous architect Lutyens, different from the traditional British architects, was highly inspired by the local and traditional Indian architecture and implemented them too as one can see clearly in the great drum-mounted Buddhist dome placed over the Viceroy's House, now the Rashtrapati Bhavan. This palatial building contains 340 rooms built in an area of 330 acres (1.3 km2) of space and positioning a private garden in it as well. The building designed for the official residence of the Viceroy of India, now the official residence of the President of India, at one point of time, more than 2000 people having been required to take care of this Viceroy’s House.
It is said the Lutyens had carved two bells in the Delhi Order columns installed at the front entrance of the palace only to indicate the wish that the British Rule in India would never come to an end with the significance of these bells being silent.

Lutyens’ Delhi accommodates also the Parliament buildings and government offices, most of them designed by Herbert Baker, which have been built with local red sandstone applying like the traditional Mughal style.

When drawing plans for New Delhi, Lutyens planned the city in such a manner that the new city would lie southwest of Shahjahanbad, the walled city, laying out the street plan for New Delhi with wide tree-lined avenues to create the city in the spirit of British colonial rule. Lutyens formed this location giving scope for the new imperial city to meet the older native settlement in a colossal market because he must have imagined that Indian traders would involve in trading at the grand shopping centre constructed for the benefit of residents of Shahjahanbad and New Delhi, forming the D-shaped market as seen today.

It is also true that many of the villas accomplished with gardens in Lutyens' Bungalow Zone are under constant threat and pressure for development work in Delhi. Because of this fact, LBZ has been placed on 2002 World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites created by World Monuments Fund, a heritage organization based in New York.

As for the other buildings that Edwin Lutyens designed in Delhi, there are a few which include Baroda House, Patiala House, Hyderabad House, Bikaner House and Jaipur House.



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