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Lutyens’ Delhi: Dhruva N Chaudhuri on how the seat of administration got its architectural style

Dhruva N Chaudhary | SCROLL | Jun 22, 2019 · 05:30 pm

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Two questions arose at the very beginning. First, who was to build the new city – the Public Works Department (PWD), a private firm in India, or a distinguished architect from abroad? The decision was in favour of an architect from overseas. Edwin Landseer Lutyens was a well-known name in England for designing country houses and gardens. He also happened to be married to the daughter of an ex-Viceroy of India, Lord Lytton, and King George V, too, was familiar with his name. Later, it was Lutyens who suggested the name of his friend, Herbert Baker, as a collaborator and that proposal was approved.

The second question concerned style. It was discussed and fought out with great persistence, spirit and some display of bad temper. All three buildings of the acropolis group still bear the mark of this clash of opinions and views. In a particular sense the question had almost been closed by the appointment of the architects. Both were exponents of the European Renaissance style.

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