As Great an Opportunity as any Architect has ever had!
‘Cutting from the February 2013 issue of the RIBA Journal. In its “100 Years Ago”
column it reproduces the “Architetes” cartoon of Edwin Lutyens wearing a solar
topee in the shape of the dome on the Viceroy’s House and this extract from the
February 1913 issue of the RIBA Journal.’
The government of India have decided to entrust the preparation of the designs for Government House and another important building in the new Imperial capital at Delhi to Mr E.L. Lutyens and Mr Herbert Baker, who are to be associated for this purpose on equal terms. It is also contemplated that Messrs Lutyens and Baker should assist the Indian government in the selection of designs for other public buildings at Delhi and act generally as its principal architectural advisers as regards the new capital. To ensure the designs are adapted to climatic conditions, Indian sentiment and official requirements, and to furnish advice as to Indian materials and the employment where possible of Indian craftsmen, it is proposed to give Messrs Lutyens and Baker the assistance of Colonel Sir S. Swinton-Jacob KCIE, who has recently retired from active work as engineer and architect to several important native states of Rajputana. The Times, in a leading article on the 29th January, says “Their duty is to build a capital truly representative of British rule; and that ideal cannot be attained either by transplanting wholesale a bygone European style or by slavishly reproducing an Indian one… That is the spirit in which, we believe, both Mr Baker and Mr Lutyens will address themselves to this new opportunity – as great an opportunity as any architect has ever had. They cannot build New Delhi alone, but they can form the main idea and set the key to which, we doubt not, much other talent will readily respond”.