The Rashtrapati Bhavan, formerly known as Viceroys House, is the official home of the President of India, located at the Western end of Rajpath in New Delhi, India. In terms of area, it is one of the largest residences of a head of state in the world, the British architect Edwin Landseer Lutyens, a major member of the city-planning process, was given the primary architectural responsibility. The completed Governor-Generals palace turned out similar to the original sketches which Lutyens sent Herbert Baker, from Simla. Lutyens design is grandly classical overall, with colours and details inspired by Indian architecture, Lutyens and Baker who had been assigned to work on Viceroys House and the Secretariats, began on friendly terms. Baker had been assigned to work on the two buildings which were in front of Viceroys House. The original plan was to have Viceroys House on the top of Raisina Hill and it was later decided to build it 400 yards back, and put both buildings on top of the plateau. While Lutyens wanted Viceroys House to be higher, he was forced to move it back from the intended position, after completion, Lutyens argued with Baker, because the view of the front of the building was obscured by the high angle of the road. Lutyens campaigned for its fixing, but was not able to get it to be changed, Lutyens wanted to make a long inclined grade all the way to Viceroys House with retaining walls on either side. While this would give a view of the house further back. In 1916 the Imperial Delhi committee dismissed Lutyenss proposal to alter the gradient, Lutyens thought Baker was more concerned with making money and pleasing the government, rather than making a good architectural design. Lutyens travelled between India and England almost every year for twenty years, to work on construction of Viceroys House in both countries. Lutyens reduced the building from 13,000,000 cubic feet to 8,500,000 cubic feet because of the restrictions of Lord Hardinge. While Hardinge demanded that costs be reduced, he wanted the house to retain a certain amount of ceremonial grandeur. On 26 January 1950, when Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India and occupied this building, it was renamed as Rashtrapati Bhavan – the Presidents House. Consisting of four floors and 340 rooms, with an area of 200,000 square feet. The design process of the mansion was long, complicated and politically charged, Lutyens early designs were all starkly classical and entirely European in style. Various Indian designs were added to the building and these included several circular stone basins on top of the building, as water features are an important part of Indian architecture. It blocks harsh sunlight from the windows and also shields the windows from heavy rain during the monsoon season, on the roofline were several chuttris, which helped to break up the flatness of the roofline not covered by the dome
Image: Rashtrapati Bhavan president residence
The sloping approach from the east, which hides the lower part of the building, as Lutyens feared.