English architect Edwin Lutyens designed much of the British colonial power’s New Delhi between 1912 and 1930, and his aesthetic dominates the city. While in Delhi I have been staying in a Lutyens-designed house, now a guesthouse in walking distance from the famed Lodi Gardens and from India Gate, also designed by Lutyens.
New Delhi was built as a green enclave far from the dust and activity of Old Delhi. Putting the question of its imperial past aside for a moment, its bungalows were very well designed for the climate. They’re simple, elegant and cool in summer. Their style evolved over the years reflecting architectural movements in Europe; in Lutyens’ work as you can see there are elements of late Georgian, Deco and Moderne depending on the house and year of construction.
This part of the city looks the way it ever did, while massive new development has mostly sprung up in the suburbs.
Below, a Lutyens-designed bungalow:
Below: I attended a literary prize ceremony in a beautiful garden flat in this Lutyens-designed block near Khan Market. It’s difficult to tell from the front but it has Streamlined Moderne elements as you can see in the interior shot.
Not all of the below are by Lutyens but his overall aesthetic is evident all over this part of the Delhi megalopolis.There are many examples of Moderne and Streamline Moderne in Delhi, influenced in some way by Lutyens whether designed by him or not:
And another house in the district – maybe someone can identify this style more accurately than I can:
As an aside, as a favourite architect of the empire, Lutyens also designed most of the war memorial cenotaphs in Canada, including ours in Vancouver. None are as grand as Delhi’s India Gate.