Colonial Architecture – Modern India

Colonial Architecture – Portuguese style

  • They adapted to India the climatically appropriate Iberian galleried patio house & the Baroque churches of Goa.
  • Portuguese used bricks as the main building material along with wooden roofs & stairs
  • Se Cathedral & Arch of Conception of Goa were built in the typical Portuguese – Gothic style.
  • St. Francis Church at Cochin in 1510 is believed to be the first church built by the Europeans in India.
  • Fort of Castella de Aguanda near Mumbai and added fortifications to the Bassein fort built by Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, in 1532 AD.
  • Bassein fort is famous for the Matriz (Cathedral of St. Joseph), the Corinthian pillared hall & the Porte da Mer (sea gate).colonial

Colonial Architecture – French style

  • Gave a distinct urban design to its settlement in Pondicherry by applying the Cartesian grid plans & classical architectural patterns.
  • Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus (Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus), Eglise de Notre Dame de Angesand, Eglise de Notre Dame de Lourdes at Pondicherry have a distinct French influence.

Colonial Architecture – British style

  • British followed various architectural styles – Gothic, Imperial, Christian, English Renaissance & Victorian being the essentials.
  • Britishers used Red sandstone & coarse limestone as the main building material
  • Church of St. John at Calcutta (1787) inspired by St. Stephens Church at Walbrooks.
  • St. Mary’s Church in Fort St. George in Chennai.
  • Law Courts, Presidency College and Senate House of Chennai.
  • Gateway of India in Mumbai, Maharaja’s Palace at Mysore & M.S.University &Lakshmi Villas Palace at Baroda.
  • New Delhi – systematically planned city after made capital in 1911
  • Constantia, a building erected by General Martin (British) at Lucknow, is the best specimen of Palladian Style in India
  • Wittet designed the Gateway of India in Mumbai, borrowing several elements of Mughal style
  • Sardar Ram Singh, a master builder of Punjab, designed the Central Museum & the Senate House at Lahore (in Pakistan)
  • Victoria Terminus Station (Chhatrapati Shivaji station), Mumbai
  • Designed by the British architect F. W. Stevens, the structure became the symbol of Bombay
  • Based on late medieval Italian models, the terminal was built over 10 years, starting in 1878
  • An outstanding example of Victorian Gothic revival architecture in India
  • Blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture
  • Bombay city was labelled as the ‘Gothic Cityvictoria-terminus-mumbai.jpg

Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

  • Designed by William Emerson in late 19th century
  • To perpetuate the memory of Queen Victoria in India
  • Drew elements from the indigenous & Indo-Islamic architecture combined with the Gothic revival & Neo-Classical stylesvictoi

Revival of Delhi

  • Transfer of capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911.
  • Sir Edward Lutyens was made responsible for the overall plan of Delhi.
  • He constructed India Gate & Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • Vice regal palace appeared with a huge dome on the lines of a Buddhist stupa,
  • Represent some elements of Hindu ornamentation & Islamic symmetry
  • Herbert Baker added South Block and North Block, which flank the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • Englishman Robert Tor Tussell built the Connaught Place.colonial

Some Famous Architects of Modern India

Laurie Baker

  • Known as the architect of the poor.
  • Merged the buildings with the environment and utilized locally available materials.
  • To reduce the consumption of steel and cement, he introduced filler slab construction.
  • While designing he gave more importance to ventilation & thermal comfort.

Karl Heinz

  • A German Architect & was commissioned with instructions to stay clear of elements of British or Mughal Architecture
  • Used local materials like red sand stone & lime which were easily available.
  • Red sandstone buildings with white domes, with big courtyards and windows are main features.
  • Known as ‘modern style of architecture’


  • A French Architect
  • Designed the city of Chandigarh on the pattern of well-ordered matrix.
  • Conceived the Idea of sector as self-sufficient green belt & Designed regular grid system for fast moving traffic


  • A Goan Architect & played pivotal role past independence.
  • He placed special emphasis on prevailing resources, energy and climate as major determinants in the ordering of space.
  • He did pioneer work in urban issues & low cost shelter in the third world.
  • Example: Planning of Navi Mumbai, Kanchenjunga apartment, Mumbai, British Council building, New Delhi, etc.
Indo gothic style
  • Also known as Indosarsenic style
  • Hybrid of Mughal, Gothic & Hindu style.
  • Elaborate of carge construction.
  • Confirmed of advanced British structural engineering standards.
  • Thinner walls
  • Pointed arches
  • Large windows
  • Gucified gound plan of churches.

Ex:- St.Paul’s catherdal at Kolkata, Victoria, Lakshmi vilas & Gateway of India

Neo Roman style
  • Also known as Neo classical style.
  • Ex:- Rastrapathi bhavan, Parliament, Supreme Court,

Feel free to comment !!