New Delhi, July 27
Striking floor patterns designed by Edwin Lutyens for the residence of the Viceroy of India (now the Rashtrapati Bhavan) are documented in a seminal work written by a team of faculty and students from Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) and led by Director Sangeeta Bagga.
The book, titled “Interpreting Geometries,” was released here on July 24, with former President Ram Nath Kovind receiving the first copy on his last day in office. The book is the first investigation into the intricate floor patterns of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1929 for the Viceroy of India.
In addition to Bagga, the other authors include three faculty members of the college, namely Saumya Sharma, Vipendra Singh and Shilpa Sood, and six students from March. Speaking to The Tribune today, Bagga said the Rashtrapati Bhavan was a national heritage site and there were several books on its various aspects, but none on the floor.
“We were tasked by the President House to visualize the intricate geometry of the building,” said Bagga, who conducted an exploratory study that led to the first volume of the book, which was produced in seven months.
The building is H-shaped with four wings – guest wing, family wing, press secretariat and cabinet secretariat – on the four sides.
“Given the scope of the work, we decided to produce two parts. The first part describes the design philosophy and beginnings of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Raisina Hill, the inspiration behind the unique floor covering, and decodes the floor patterns. The chapters contain several architectural floors plan drawings, floor pattern drawings and interpretation sketches to understand the floor in several steps, she said, adding that the first part explores 22 spaces and decodes 32 patterns.