Architectural Buildings

There are outstanding architectural splendors wide spread all over Delhi city. Muslim rulers not only gave a distinct and effective impact on indigenous changes in culture and life but also gave novel expression to art and architecture. This novel style got easily infused into principles and modes of construction which later on reflected in their social and religious needs of Islam adherents. British people introduced a systematically designed architecture where they developed lawns and gardens inside their premises resulting in the beautiful ambience in and around their building.

Colonial Architecture

British architectural styles situated in Delhi includes Rashtrapati Bhavan or President’s House, Sansad Bhavan or Parliament House, Central Secretariat which combines the outstanding features of both Indian traditional forms and English architecture school.

After independence, Delhi public buildings displayed utilitarian bias with a need for synthesis of western and Indian styles. This is the attempt, which never got fulfilled as it can be displayed through science building with conference hall, government ministries and Supreme Court building.

There was a shift towards deploying modern materials which can be noticed through Children’s building which stands as a centre for children and a centre for fine arts in the name of Rabindra Building. Memorials for 20th century leaders were constructed along Yamuna River in the name of Vijay Ghat (Lal Bahadur Shastri), Shanti Vana (Jawaharlal Nehru) and Raj Ghat (Mahatma Gandhi).

British people make use of various architectural designs including Victorian and English Renaissance, Christian, Imperial and Gothic.

King George V declared the shifting of Indian capital from Calcutta in 1911 to Delhi. They planned this city in a systematic manner by making use of 20th century architectural designs. The overall city of Delhi was planned by Sir Edward Lutyens whose work can be easily identified from Rajpath, the 3.2 km road which is flanked by 2 secretariat buildings constructed by renowned Herbert Baker.

The President’s home (Rashtrapathi Bhavan) was built from brown stone and is one of the marvelous works done by Bakers or Lutyens. It was known that majority of these structures including public buildings, officers bungalows, post offices, Flagstaff House, Western and Eastern Ghats and Connaught Place was designed by an unknown British personal Robert Tor Tussell.

The last and final masterpiece of British architecture is St Martin’s Garrison Church which represents a definitive architectural style. With more than 3 million red colored bricks, this is an amazing monolith designed with high square shaped tower along with deep sunken window ledges that reminds of German and Dutch architecture.

Tuberculosis Association Building

Tuberculosis Association Building was designed by Walter Sykes George who lived between the period of 1881 and 1962. He also designed St Stephen’s College in the year 1941. He showed distinct modification to the prevailing international architectural designs with an adjustable horizontal light weight louver in contemporary modernist style. He used materials that displayed more of Anglo-Indian architecture belonging to 1930s.

The state and central PWDs together with their offshoots like DDA (provisionally established in 1955 which then took over Delhi Improvement Trust in 1957) continued to perform much similar to pre independence. Their primary job is to design large scale housing projects and public buildings. The dedicated efforts of CPWD architects can be clearly distinguished in New Delhi.

Most of New Delhi buildings like Supreme Court, Vigyan Bhavan, Rail Bhavan, Udyog Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan and Vayu Bhavan were designed as chajja’s and chattris with domes on their top delivering an Indian touch. RI Geholote of CPWD designed cubical mass conference hall in the name of Vigyan Bhavan making use of elements from Mughal, Hindu and Buddhist architecture. The entrance is made of glass and black marble in the shape of Ajanta style chaitya arch which symbolizes Indian culture and peace together. This arch motif later on became more frequently and easily recognized Indian identity symbol and is widely applied to various structures.

Supreme Court

This was designed in Indo British style by Deolalikar inside Lutyen’s complex. It is widely referred as heavy headed. Their chattris consists of 15 inch by 15 inch column support that stand in contrast to elegance of other structures at Baker’s or Lutyens or Fatehpur Sikri work.

Delhi witnessed Joseph Allen Stein’s work during 1960s. He showed his skill in American International School (between 1962 and 1968) and India International centre (between 1959 and 1962). There is an orthogonal geometry in building sitting depicting American Empiricist style more than European Rationalist.

He displayed intellectual development in all his later works including Triveni Kala Sangamand, Ford Foundation building and UNICEF edifice (1981). There were also other architects who remained independent and designed their own styles. Notable among them are Gropius who designed international styles and greatly influenced other young architects during this period.

One can tentatively differentiate between unconscious and conscious architects who followed the tradition of European Rationalist which was inspired by the Le Corbusian thoughtful lines and the other Empiricists who followed the footsteps of Kahn, Stein and Wright.

Jugal Kishore Choudhary designed the campus of Indian institute of Architecture in 1961 and CP Kukreja and CPWD designed Jawaharlal Nehru University under rationalist thinking. IIT Delhi campus shows less image of the Le Corbusier’s work when compared to that of Punjab University. It comprises of staff residences, faculty residences, research and housing facilities, academic buildings etc… IIT Delhi is designed to be 3 storey parallel constructed blocks with 7 storey perpendicular blocks to the longest 3 storey lock joining it to administration portion.  These buildings are joined by covered ways forming courtyards which is a blend of Le Corbusian and Oxbridge patterns.

The main blocks were constructed with concrete where as lecture theatres were designed with rough stone along with multi storey staircase which deliver sculptural elements intruding the courtyards.

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