colonial architecture in delhi

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Colonial Architecture in Delhi - Krisha Malhotra

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CONTENTS: Colonial architecture means.. Colonial India map Prominent colonial architectural style of Delhi Sir Edwin Lutyens Sir Herbert Baker Map of New Delhi Various masterpieces Bibliography

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“COLONIAL” Architecture means: As we can see, ‘colonial architecture’ consists of two words- one being colonial which refers to colonial INDIA and other being architecture which means the way something is designed. Firstly, it is important for us to understand the context or meaning of ‘colonial India’. Colonial India is the part of the Indian subcontinent which was under the control of European colonial powers, through trade and conquest. The first European power to arrive in India was the army of Alexander the Great in 327–326 BC. Later, in the early 19th century the British started gaining direct or indirect control over almost all of India. British India contained the most populous and valuable provinces of the British Empire and built many masterpieces of architecture including ‘The viceroy’s lounge’ in Delhi. Thus, Colonial architecture refers to architectural style having the influence of various cultures.

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COLONIAL INDIA

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Prominent colonial architectural style of DELHI: The architectural style of the British period is very promimrnt in Delhi and is represented by the Central Secretariat, Parliament House or the ' Sansad Bhavan ' and the President's House or Rashtrapati Bhavan , formerly the British viceroy's house,the splendid Rajpath , India gate and New Delhi combining the best features of the modern English school of architecture with traditional Indian forms. The British followed various architectural styles - Gothic, Imperial, Christian, English Renaissance and Victorian being the essentials. In 1911 King George V passed an order declaring that the capital would be moved from Calcutta to Delhi . The city was planned systematically, combining 20th century architecture. Sir Edwin Lutyens was responsible for the overall plan of Delhi.

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Sir Edwin Lutyens (29 March 1869 – 1 January 1944) Sir Edwin Lutyens : Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens was a British architect who is known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed many English country houses . He has been referred to as "the greatest British architect "and is known best for having an instrumental role in designing and building a section of the metropolis of Delhi , known as New Delhi , which would later on serve as the seat of the Government of India .In recognition of his contribution, New Delhi is also known as " Lutyens ' Delhi ". In collaboration with Herbert Baker , he was also the main architect of several monuments in New Delhi such as the India Gate ; he also designed the Viceroy's House.

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Sir Herbert Baker (9 June 1862 – 4 February 1946) Sir Herbert Baker: Sir Herbert Baker was a British architect. Baker was the dominant force in South African architecture for two decades, 1892–1912. Among the many churches, schools and houses he designed in South Africa are the Union Buildings Pretoria, St John's College , Johannesburg, Wynberg Boys School , Cape Town In 1912 Baker went to India to work with Lutyens , and went on to design the Secretariat Building, New Delhi and Parliament House in New Delhi and the bungalows of Members of Parliament . Baker designed the two Secretariat buildings flanking the great axis leading to what was then the Viceroy of India 's Palace.

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Caricature based on Mughal miniature of Lutyens and Baker presenting model of viceroy’s palace and secretariat buildings to Lord Irwin, viceroy of India. Marjorie Shoosmith, 1931 Caricature based on Mughal miniature of Lutyens and Baker presenting model of viceroy’s palace and secretariat buildings to Lord Irwin, viceroy of India. Marjorie Shoosmith , 1931

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MAP OF NEW DELHI DESIGNED AND ROUTED BY LUTYENS

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Various masterpieces of colonial architecture in Delhi: Parliament house India gate Rashtrapati Bhawan Supreme court of India Viceroy’s gardens also known as Mughal gardens Central secretariat

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PARLIAMENT HOUSE

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Parliament House: The Central Hall of the Parliament has been designed to be circular in shape. The dome is 98 ft. (29.87 metres ) in diameter and is believed that it is one of the most magnificent domes in the world. The Central Hall is a place of historical importance in India for two reasons: The transfer of colonial power to the Provisional Government under Nehru in 1947 and the framing of the Constitution by the Constituent Assembly took place in this very hall. Originally, the Central Hall was used as the Library of the erstwhile Central Legislative Assembly and the Council of States until 1946, when it was converted and refurnished into the Constituent Assembly Hall.

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INDIA GATE

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India gate: The Gate is built as a special memorandum for all the soldiers who belongs to Indian Army and to all those who have given their lives fighting for the protection of their country. It is considered that approximately 90,000 and more soldier’s names have been encrypted over the walls of India gate which is a special thing in itself. The explicit india gate architecture explains you that there is a huge path which is also known by the name of Rajpath at the end of which is constructed a 42 meters high India Gate that was previously known by the name of All India War Memorial. The designing of India Gate was done by famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyen . Standing behind the gate is an empty canopy made out of sandstone, also designed by Lutyens , and inspired by a sixth-century pavilion from Mahabalipuram .

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RASHTRAPATI BHAVAN

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Rashtrapati Bhavan : The Rashtrapati Bhavan is a large and vast mansion with four floors and has 340 rooms. It is built on a floor area of 200,000 square feet (19,000 m 2 ). It faces east. A straight east-west road, Rajpath , starts from the huge square, Vijay Chowk , in front of Rashtrapati Bhavan and ends at India Gate on the western end of the road. The ancillary dome-like structure on top of the building is known as a Chuttri , an integral part of Indian architectural design. (This picture shows one of the Secretariats , designed by Baker, which are not part of Rashtrapati Bhavan .)

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SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

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Supreme Court of INDIA: The main block of the Supreme Court building was built on a square plot of 22 acres and the building was designed by chief architect Ganesh Bhikaji Deolalikar who was the first Indian to head CPWD and designed the Supreme Court Building in an Indo – British architectural style. He was succeeded by Shridher Krishna Joglekar . The Court moved into the present building in 1958. The building is shaped to project the image of scales of justice with the Central Wing of the building corresponding to the centre beam of the Scales. In 1979, two new wings—the East Wing and the West Wing—were added to the complex. In all there are 15 court rooms in the various wings of the building. The Chief Justice's Court is the largest of the courtroom located in the centre of the Central Wing. It has a large dome with a high ceiling.

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Viceroy’s Garden, 1911-1931

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Viceroy’s gardens: The Mughal Gardens situated at the back of the Rashtrapati Bhavan , incorporates both Mughal and English landscaping styles and feature a vast variety of flowers. The Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens are open to public in February every year. Main garden-Two channels running North to South and two running East to West divide this garden into a grid of squares. There are six lotus shaped fountains at the crossings of these channels. Where as the energetic fountains rising up to a height of 12 feet create soothing murmur that enthralls the visitor, the channels are so tranquil in their movement that they seem frozen. In the channels at appropriate times of day can be seen reflections of the imposing building and the proud flowers. There are wooden trays placed on stands in the centre of the channels where grain is put for the birds to feed upon.

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Viceroy’s Palace [background] with Herbert Baker’s Secretariat buildings in foreground: Lutyens ’ “ bakerloo ”

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CENTRAL SECRETARIAT

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Central secretariat: The Secretariat Building was designed by the prominent British architect Herbert Baker in Indo- Saracenic Revival architecture . Both the identical building have four levels, each with about 1,000 rooms, in the inner courtyards to make space for future expansions. In continuation with the Viceroy's House, these buildings also used cream and red Dholpur sandstone from Rajasthan, with the red sandstone forming the base. Together the buildings the designed to form two squares. They have broad corridors between different wings and wide stairways to the four floors and each building is topped by a giant dome, while each wings end with colonnaded balcony. Much of the building is in classical architectural style, yet it incorporated from Mughal and Rajasthani architecture style and motifs in its architecture. These are visible in the use of Jali , perforated screens, to protect from scorching sun and monsoon rains of India. Another feature of the building is a dome-like structure known as the Chatri , a design unique to India, used in ancient times to give relief to travelers by providing shade from the hot Indian sun.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY: Davies, P. (1985). Splendours of the Raj: British Architecture in India, 1660 to 1947 , John Murray Ltd , London. Gradidge , R. (1981). Edwin Lutyens , Architect Laureate , George Allen & Unwin , London. Irving, R. (1981). Indian Summer: Lutyens , Baker, and Imperial Delhi , Yale University Press , New Haven. Nath , A. (2002). Dome over India: Rashtrapati Bhevan , India Book House Pvt Ltd , New Delhi. Hopkins, Andrew & Stamp, Gavin (eds.) (2002) Lutyens Abroad: the Work of Sir Edwin Lutyens Outside the British Isles . London: British School at Rome (paperback, ISBN 0-904152-37-5 )

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Viceroy’s Palace & one of two Secretariat buildings THANK YOU…

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