Sir Edwin Lutyens – The Creator Of Lutyens Bench

Sir Edwin LutyensLutyens bench is named after its creator – Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869 – 1944), one of the greatest British architects whose works are renowned for a unique blend of the traditional style and the needs of his time. He also played an important role in architecture outside the United Kingdom, especially in India. He designed much of a section of the metropolis of Delhi which later became New Delhi, the capital of India. The leading British architect, however, also profoundly influenced garden furniture design.

Edwin Lutyens was born in London to Charles Henry Augustus Lutyens and Mary Theresa Gallwey. He studied architecture at the South Kensington School of Art, London and worked at the Ernest George and Harold Peto architectural practice after he completed college. But only after one year, he opened his own practice and shortly thereafter met Gertrude Jekyll, a British garden designer and horticulturist who had a major influence on his work. And it was the partnership with Jekyll that led to creation of Lutyens bench which is, interestingly, probably his least famous work.

Lutyens BenchAs already mentioned earlier, Edwin Lutyens dramatically influenced the look of New Delhi. Between 1912 and 1930, he gave the future capital of India a new look which, however, reflects influence of local and traditional Indian architectural styles revealing Lutyens's outstanding ability not only to adjust the classical style to the needs of time but of space as well. His most famous works in New Delhi include the Rashtrapati Bhavan (former Viceroy's House which served as the residence of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India) which is today the official residence of the President of India, and the monumental India Gate which is a memorial to the fallen soldiers of the Indian Army during the First World War and the Third Afghan War. He also designed many First World War memorials elsewhere among which are best known the The Cenotaph in London, the Irish War Memorial Gardens in Dublin and the Thiepval Memorial in France. Among his best known works is, however, Queen Mary's Dolls' House which is today displayed in the Windsor Castle at Windsor.

He married with Lady Emily Bulwer-Lytton in 1897 who bore him five children. His marriage, however, was less successful than his career. In 1918, he was knighted and three years later, he became a Fellow of the Royal Academy. In 1924, he became a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission (the precursor of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment or CABE). In his later years, he worked almost exclusively on the design for a new Roman Catholic cathedral in Liverpool but the construction works were interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. He died in 1944, while his design for the cathedral was later abandoned.