Viceroy's House, New Delhi: east front (1931)
Designer: Lutyens, Sir Edwin Landseer (1869-1944)
Copyright: RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (1931)
Edwin Lutyens studied at the Royal College of Art, London before working for George & Peto. He established himself in his own architectural practice as early as 1889.
Lutyens’ first important work was a house at Crooksbury near Farnham for a Mr A Chapman. However, his work with the gardener and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, helped launch his career, including a house he designed for her at Mumstead Wood in 1896. Lutyens designed nearly 300 houses, and on several, he collaborated with Jekyll who designed the garden. Amongst these projects, there are Deanery Gardens, Sonning (1899) ; Tigbourne Court, Witley (1899); and Folly Farm, Sulhampstead (1905 and 1912).
Lutyens also designed the 'grander' building, including Castle Drogo country house (1910-30) and Britannic House, Finsbury Circus, London (1925).
In 1912, he was invited to advise the Government of India and worked alongside Herbert Baker to design the buildings of New Delhi. Of particular note is his Viceroy’s House (1913) which displays a sense of grandiose.
Portrait bust of Sir Edwin Lutyens made from a model of a chujja
Designer: Indian office of Sir Edwin Lutyens
Copyright: RIBA Library Drawings Collection (c1917)
Lutyens was one of a number of architects commissioned by the Imperial War Graves Commission, and amongst his memorials, designed the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London (1919).
'Lutyens asserted the supremacy of the art that they (architects) loved, and he taught the public how to understand it.'
In 1932, Lutyens was commissioned as the architect of the catholic cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool. The new cathedral would have an area of 233,000 sq ft with a central dome diameter of 168ft – a larger space than existed on any other building (St Peter’s in Rome having 137ft and St Paul’s in London having 112ft). Work began in 1933 but had to be abandoned in 1940 because of the Second World War, so the only part of Lutyens’ cathedral which was built was the crypt. It was considered that the cathedral was far too large to ever be completed and this was confirmed when a competition was held in 1959 to design a new cathedral. This second competition was won by Frederick Gibberd who incorporated a platform over Lutyens’ crypt.