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Photographer: Mervyn Miller

Official bungalows

Gazetteer No. G0287

Date Circa 1912

Address , New Delhi India


Lutyens prepared a number of different designs for bungalows of varying importance. In 1917 the Delhi Committee rejected these, as, Hussey suggests, Lutyens intended and expected. He did not want ‘the anguish of designing jerry-villas’ and, instead, was given to design all the buildings along the central axis of the city: the War Memorial and the buildings at the intersection of King’s Way and Queen’s Way.

In the event, Lutyens designed the four important large bungalows on the curving road west if the Moghul Gardens between the Bodyguard Lines and the Staff Quarters. These were for the Comptroller, the Surgeon, the Military Secretary and the Private Secretary to the Viceroy. The decision to build these was taken in 1918. On his visits between 1923 and 1928, Lutyens occupied ‘No. 1, New Delhi’, the Private Secretary’s House. This, now No. 1 Willingdon Crescent, has been altered.

A few of Baker’s designs for bungalows were carried out – ‘bungle ohs!’ Lutyens called them – and some were designed by W. H. Nicholls, Chief Architect to the Government of India. A majority of those required, however, were designed by Nicholl’s successor, R. T. Russell. These were Classical and influenced by Lutyens’s designs. In 1922 Baker wrote to his former New Delhi assistant C. P. Walgate, ‘I wonder what you would think of the new white plaster Paladian [sic[ Delhi – shadow-less & colourless evolved by the P.W.D. architects under the prevailing influence! It bores me and I fear a reaction to the other extreme towards the Indo-Saracenic – Geometry after all is only one facet – however important a one – of the architectural germ and I think you would think that it looms –flashes rather – too vividly in the Delhi germ. It does not always work out nor tell as intended.’ In 1959 H. A. N. Medd described the officials’ bungalows and the staff quarters as ‘the Lutyens version of cheaper building in the classic manner’. (Amery et al, 1981, cat no.430)


Amery, C., Richardson, M. and Stamp, G. (1981) Lutyens, the Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): Hayward Gallery London, 18 November 1981-31 January 1982. London: Arts Council of Great Britain.

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