Thomas Metcalf

Architecture and Empire

British imperial architecture as epitomised by the work of Sir Herbert Baker was not tied to any geographic setting. Its elements could be re-ordered to fit any tropical dependency. As Thomas R. Metcalf explains, what had been hammered out in Pretoria, and redefined in Delhi, could be carried to such places as Kenya. But Baker, who designed the imperial acropolis of New Delhi with Lutyens, differed from his colleague, "the most original and creative architect of his age." For Baker architecture always served a political purpose: for Lutyens, Empire was incidental.