Architectural marvels for the new capital | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Architectural marvels for the new capital

Delhi’s skyline underwent a massive change after it was chosen as the new Imperial capital by the British — a new city emerged with iconic buildings boasting beautiful facades, pillared verandas and huge lawns.

delhi Updated: Sep 14, 2011 02:16 IST

Delhi’s skyline underwent a massive change after it was chosen as the new Imperial capital by the British — a new city emerged with iconic buildings boasting beautiful facades, pillared verandas and huge lawns

Teen Murti bhavan

The residence of independent India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Teen Murti Bhavan today is best known for Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. The elegant building was built in 1930 to house the Commander-in-Chief of the army and was known as the Flagstaff House. One of the biggest residences built by Robert Tor Russell, the chief architect of the PWD, the imposing building sits amidst a vast estate. The building, which faces the southern view of Rashtrapati Bhavan (Government House), was built of stone and stucco, lending it a dignified style. The first floor of the residence has a pillared veranda that look upon a series of steps leading to the lawn. The house has recessed windows and arched entrances.

Architect: Robert Tor Russell
Built: 1930

Western and Eastern courts

The Eastern Court and Western Court were designed by Robert Tor Russell as a hostel for legislators. The Western Court still serves the original purpose for which it was built and retains the same look but the Eastern Court houses the Central Telegraph Office and a host of other offices. The two elegant buildings were part of the master plan built for New Delhi by Edwin Lutyens even though Russell designed them. The two buildings flank Janpath (Queensway) and lead towards Connaught Place.

Built on a platform almost one floor tall, the most striking feature of the buildings were the two colonnaded floors with arches at different points.

Architect: Robert Tor Russell
Built: 1932

Vidhan sabha

After transfer of the Capital to Delhi, the temporary secretariat building was constructed in a few months' time in 1912 where old Chandrawal Village stood. The semi-circular, cream-coloured Secretariat building, with a long frontline and two lateral structures, had the privilege of housing the central legislature from 1913 to 1926. This building also set a style for bungalows that came up later. The first sitting of the Legislative Council was held at the Chamber in Old Secretariat on January 27, 1913. The first convocation of University of Delhi was held here on March 26, 1923. The Old secretariat presently houses Vidhan Sabha.

Architect: E Montague Thomas

Built: 1912

National Archives

The National Archives (originally called The Imperial Record Office) was one of the most iconic buildings of the new capital. It was part of four museums and archives building planned by Edwin Lutyens at the interaction of King's way and Queen's way, known as 'Point B'. But eventually, only the record office came up. The building was different from others in terms of its façade, which reflects as, Andreas Volwahsen puts in his book Imperial Delhi, 'the two most important architectural clichés of the late neo-classical building style in India, namely the hall with columns and the verandah with capitals of the Delhi Order'.

Architect: Edwin Lutyens
Built: 1926

Coronation Park

Coronation Park near Burari has a rich history. On December 11, 1911, the coronation ceremony of King George V and Queen Mary took place here amid much fanfare and was witnessed by thousands of people, including various Maharajas from across the country. It was here that King George-V announced the shifting of the Capital of the British Raj from Calcutta to Delhi. The British wanted to build the new Capital at this site but the plan was dropped later. Today, Coronation Park has the one of the largest statues of King George V, on a lofty pedestal, brought here from India Gate in 1968.
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