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The British endeavored to create an amalgamation of the Western and Indian design styles, basically known as the Gothic Revival. The Indo-Gothic architecture was characterized by pointed arches, used for ornamental arts like patios or dorms, or essentially for entrances and windows. The most significant representation of the Gothic Revival in India is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Railway Terminus in Mumbai, built-in 1888.
A considerable part of British architecture was influenced by the neoclassical style with accents borrowed from India’s Mughal and Buddhist past. Rashtrapati Bhawan, originally built for the then viceroy of India and named the viceroy house, is a momentous contribution to introducing neoclassical architecture in India.
The bulk of the architecture introduced during the British regime, known as modern architecture, has been strongly influenced by the Tudor style of design and the vernacular style of South East England. The variation in the degrees of Indo-Islamic elements and the European style gave rise to Indo-Saracenic architecture. Most of the forts, buildings and monuments built during the Colonial regime are a result of the fusion of the typical English style with Indo-Saracenic architecture. Although modern architecture was highly inclined towards using stronger materials like bamboo, red stone, timber, cotton fibre, etc., the elements derived from Indian culture and folk remained a vital part of the architecture.
Parliament House, also known as Sansad Bhavan, was built in 1927 and designed by the British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. The building consists of the Parliament House, the library building, the reception office, the parliament annexe, huge terraces, and artificial ponds. Designed by British architects, Parliament House was essentially developed in the Imperial style, offering a sample of Portuguese architecture, with circular corridors, open verandas, around 144 sections, and offices for ministers and imperative officers.
A significant part of the Parliament House was influenced by Indian cultural folk and heritage. It is believed that the design of the parliament building was highly influenced by the circular Chausath Yogini temple of Morena, Madhya Pradesh. The House contains significant elements derived from Indian culture including circular stone basins on the top of the building, chhajjas, and chuttris on the roofline. The House is believed to contain as many as 30 statues and sculptures on its premises. These include the torsos of Chandragupta Maurya, Maharana Pratap, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Rabindranath Tagore, etc. The Parliament House is also a reflection of the Indian mythology and culture which is indicated by the inspirations from Upanishads, Mahabharata, etc. The Parliament House also holds historical and sentimental importance as the central Hall being the witness to the framework of the Indian Constitution in 1950.
Located in the city of Mumbai, this arch monument was built in 1924 and was erected to commemorate the arrival of the first monarch, King-Emperor George V to India. This monument, facing the Mumbai harbor, is essentially constructed from yellow basalt and reinforced concrete, with perforated screens of Gwalior. It is built essentially in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style, the Gateway of India was designed by the Scottish architect, George Wittet, with an influence of the triumphal arch and the Gujarati architecture of that time including jali-perforated screens carved and chattri-pavilions topped with cupolas.
The monument is primarily influenced by the amalgamation of the Roman triumphal arch and architecture of Gujarat and combines the elements of Indo-Islamic architecture and the European style of design. A tint of Muslim architecture is witnessed in the design through the structure of the grandiose edifice. The four turrets of the Gateway, designed with precise latticework, lead to the Arabian sea through the arch of the Gateway. The arch found on both sides of the Gateway is a symbol of the influence of Mughal architecture which contains a shrine or Jharokha originating from Islamic architecture. The Gateway's arch is said to have a height of 26 meters with a large central dome. One can also witness sculptures of cows, lions and elephants as an influence of the Hindu architectural setting. The ground of the gateway contains statues of Chatrapati Shivaji, who played a symbolic role in the establishment of the Maratha Empire.
Built in 1986, the Lotus Temple, located in New Delhi is known for its flower-like shape. The temple is essentially a place of worship for the people of the Baha'i faith. Specified by the Baha'i Scripture, the temple includes certain features that are common to all Baha'i places of worship, commonly known as expressionist architecture. This essentially includes the nine-sided circular shape and omission of any images, idols or pictures inside the temple, keeping in view the religious belief of the Baha'i faith. The statues and the carvings are replaced by the two primary elements of design, light and water used as ornamentation. Resembling a lotus flower, the temple is exteriorly composed of 27 Marble petals, forming nine sites. Following the structure of all the old Baha'i temples; the Lotus Temple in New Delhi is made of white marble from Greece, giving it a white appearance.
The Bombay High Court, currently the high court of the states of Maharashtra and Goa in India, and the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, was built in 1862 during the British colonial rule as one of the three High courts in India, granted by Queen Victoria.
However, the court has a larger architectural significance and has been a remarkable testimony of the architectural system in India. Built around the Gothic revival architecture which is essentially the amalgamation of the Western and Indian styles, the Bombay High Court was designed by a British engineer Col. James A. Fuller. The high court is a four-storey building, stone structured, and a significant ensemble of Gothic buildings and the oval maidan that forms the very basis of the architecture of Bombay's history. The building possesses a huge tower of approximately a height of 37m which has two octagonal towers toward its west. The towers additionally possess the statues of Justice and Mercy signifying the people's belief in the law and authorities. The dark stoned high walls, its arched galleries, its turrets, and the massive central, topped by a massive steeply sloped roof, is a reflection of a German castle. The building has several courtrooms, and a grand central courtroom, structured by the grand palace in stone.
The second busiest airport in the country, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, built in 1942 was named after Shivaji Maharaj, one of the greatest Maratha rulers. The architecture was largely influenced by the Mumbai-based designs and crafts and it is an identification of the fusion of technology and ambience in the cultural and traditional form. The panels, ceiling, columns, etc, are largely influenced by the structure of the peacock feathers symbolizing the need to be humble and confident, in the folk culture. Essentially, the airport was built under an X-shaped plan. This central X houses dining and retail facilities and the airport baggage system. Inspired by the historic English architecture, the X gets diverged into four concourses to increase the number of aircraft gates. The structure was highly focused on the material efficiency and construction, traditional patterns and structures and intricately integrated into the architecture, including Headhouse columns roof surfaces in the subtle jolly window screens.
Built post-independence of India, this building was constructed as a measure of progress from colonial rule, using modernist architectural ideas. The architect, Charles Correa, constructed the building in a very modern style but tried to retain the Indian culture and architecture. The construction of elements like murals, fountains, courtyards, use of stone and idols project the Indian culture and folk in the modern building. The 72,000 square feet space is projected with elements as an identification of the Indian symbolism, including a large Indian tree mural by Howard Hodgkin on the exterior of the space. Modern British architecture is widely signified through this construction, ideally keeping in mind the Indo-Islamic concepts of architecture.
The Indian architecture is, therefore, a testimony of everything the nation has faced over the centuries, with primary drift in the architecture setting, with the changing set of kingdoms and rulers of the time. However, with this varying architectural design and setups, the effects of the Indian culture and folk have seen a constant surge in the exterior and interior architecture over the centuries. Inscriptions, idols, sculptures, and allegorical structures represent the old Indian culture and have significantly impacted India's ancient, medieval, and modern architecture.
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