Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (29 March 1869 – 1 January 1944) was a British architect who is known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era.
He has been referred to as "the greatest British architect" and is known best for having an instrumental role in designing and building a section of the metropolis of Delhi, known as New Delhi, which would later on serve as the seat of the Government of India. In recognition of his contribution, New Delhi is also known as "Lutyens' Delhi". In collaboration with Sir Herbert Baker, he was also the main architect of several monuments in New Delhi such as the India Gate; he also designed the Viceroy's House now known as the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Initially, his designs were all Arts and Crafts style, a good example being Overstrand Hall, Norfolk and Le Bois des Moutiers (1898) in France, but during the early 1900s his work became more classical in style. His commissions were of a varied nature from private houses to two churches for the new Hampstead Garden Suburb in London to Julius Drewe's Castle Drogo near Drewsteignton in Devon. He also designed a Columbarium for the Hannen family in Wargrave. Here he added elements of local architectural styles to his classicism, and based his urbanization scheme on Mughal water gardens. He also designed the Hyderabad House for the last Nizam of Hyderabad, as his Delhi palace.
Lutyens' also designed a chalk building, Marsh Court, in Hampshire, England. Built between 1901 and 1905, it is the last of his Tudor designs and was based on a variant of ancient rammed earth building techniques. In 1903 the main school building of Amesbury Prep School in Hindhead, Surrey, was designed and built as a private residence. It is now a Grade 2* listed building
Before the end of World War I, he was appointed one of three principal architects for the Imperial War Graves Commission and was involved with the creation of many monuments to commemorate the dead. Larger cemeteries have a Stone of Remembrance, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The best known of these monuments are the Cenotaph in Whitehall, Westminster, and the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Thiepval. The Cenotaph was originally commissioned by David Lloyd George as a temporary structure to be the centrepiece of the Allied Victory Parade in 1919. Lloyd George proposed a catafalque, a low empty platform, but it was Lutyens' idea for the taller monument. The design took less than six hours to complete. Many local war memorials (such as the one at All Saints', Northampton), Montréal, Quebec, Toronto, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario, Victoria, British Columbia, and Vancouver, British Columbia are Lutyens designs—based on the Cenotaph. He also designed the War Memorial Gardens in Dublin, which were restored in the 1990s. Other works include the Tower Hill memorial, and (similar to his later India Gate design) a memorial in Victoria Park in Leicester. Lutyens also refurbished Lindisfarne Castle for its wealthy owner.
He was knighted in 1918 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy in 1921. In 1924, he was appointed a member of the newly created Royal Fine Art Commission, a position he held until his death.
All our texts and many of our images appear under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License (CC BY-SA). All our content is written and edited by our community.