Residences in the Imperial Delhi


The architects of Imperial Delhi have collectively contributed to the variations of residences. Lutyens built the houses for senior officials in the neighborhood directly west of the Government House, Baker designed a series of bungalows on King George’s Avenue, and William Nicholls and Robert Tor Russel built a series of 500 bungalows for the members of the government in New Delhi.


Lutyens placed a series of residential accommodations and was built at the same time as Viceroy’s House to its northwest and southwest within the extensive Viceregal Estate. It is packed together closely, on the site plan, it has displaced elements of English garden cities which lies the houses of the servants to the northwest and those of the bodyguard to the southwest. Lutyens has also designed the House for the Comptroller in the prohibited area of the Viceregal Estate. This house is one of the very houses that the architectural documents have been preserved. It has displayed the characteristics of display of the very different spatial heights to aid cross ventilation. Also, shady porches are placed at the entrance and at the garden side, and relatively high chimneys are placed in the residences for an efficient fireplace for the cold winter months in Delhi. The House has displayed Lutyens style of symmetry that even behind a façade of symmetry, the spatial disposition character is still covered.


The house on Asoka Road by architects of the Central Public Work Department is also an interesting example. The house is located directly at the junction of Asoka Road and also one of the typical roundabouts where six roads converge. Due to its unique geographic condition, the ground plan is inevitably shaped like a butterfly. The butterfly-shaped ground plan was ideally suited to the hexagonal town plan from the point of view of town planning. The building has created an inviting passageway and accentuated entrance by its prestigious approach of the two symmetrical main wings lying at an angle of 120 degrees to each other. The design approach has constructed a monumental and ambitious impression for the building. The skills of the architects from the Central Public Work Department were also displayed in the design of the House of Justice in the Moti Lal Nehru Marg. Since the property lay on the eastern side of an avenue going from north to south and the living rooms are opened to the west due to climate reasons make the separation between the entrance and private garden difficult to illustrate in the design. The architects took a smart approach by placing the main axis of the living area perpendicularly, which opened the garden towards west. Hence opened the entrance along a second axis running perpendicular to the north and south direction.


The above residential examples illustrated a surprisingly generous layout that only these characteristics can be found in upper-class residences in England. The luxurious lifestyle not only by the Indian standards are displayed due to the colonial, without the social restriction from the homeland.



1 Brown, J. Lutyens and the Edwardians, London 1996.

2 Irving, R.G. Indian Summer, Lutyens, Baker and Imperial Delhi, New Haven, London 1981.

3 Volwahsen, A. Imperial Delhi The British Capital of the Indian Empire, Prestel, London 2002.


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