Sir Edwin Lutyens is a famous British architect of the 20th century widely known for his imaginative and adaptive approach towards the traditional architectural styles. He has designed several structures like English country houses, war memorials and public buildings. The most celebrated works of his career are the combination of classical architecture with Indian influences for the planning of several public buildings in New Delhi including the Viceroys House or Rashtrapati Bhavan. Many are not aware of the fact that Edwin’s mother was originally from Ireland, and is well connected to Ireland, he worked on several houses and gardens in Ireland as well.
Let’s have a glance at the renowned projects done by Lutyens in Ireland.
1. Howth Castle
Howth Castle is believed to be the oldest family home in Ireland belonging to the St. Lawrence family for hundreds of years. The palatial mansion was originally constructed in timber in the 14th century and was later constructed as a stone castle. Sir Edwin Lutyens was appointed to restyle the beautiful castle on the high slopes by the village, overlooking Dublin Bay in the year 1911. Lutyens renovated the tower, loggia, corridors and a chapel. He also incorporated a three-bay two-floored library block in the tower house form with basement and dormer attic.
2. Irish National War Memorial Gardens
Edwin Lutyens has designed several war memorials across Europe. Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, Dublin is an outstanding memorial designed by Lutyens in the memory of the 49400 Irish citizens that lost their lives during the First World War. The memorial is designed symmetrically along the north-south axis. Memorial is adorned by a lush landscape with a central Sunken Rose Garden along with several terraces, pergolas, fountains, lawns, herbaceous borders and avenues lined by extensive trees.
Stone of Remembrance or an altar was made out of Irish granite in the Sunken Garden of Remembrance. The seven and a half tons alarm is similar to the First World War Memorials across the world in its dimension. The four granite pavilions or book rooms represent the four provinces of Ireland and hold manuscripts with records of the name of all the brave soldiers.
3. Heywood Gardens, County Laois
Heywood Gardens is a walled garden primarily comprising two garden types; Great Park and Formal Gardens. In the early 1900s Edwin Lutyens was commissioned to create a centrepiece for the premise, the formal gardens around Heywood House. The four main elements of the garden are interlinked with a terrace that once ran along the front of the house (that no longer exists). The beautiful planned sunken elliptical garden terraces descend to the central feature, an oval waterbody with statues of small turtles gazing towards the grand fountain. The perimeter wall with a circular window gives panoramic views of the seven countries.
4. Lambay Castle
Lambay Castle is a four-generation old building originally built in the late 15th century on a 660 acres privately owned Lambay Island. Lutyens designed the Guest Wing and cottages near the harbour as an extension to the Lambay Castle in 1908-1910. The fort is surrounded by a 200 acres cattle and sheep farm. The ancient fort remains visually unchanged as the two sections complement each other while being almost invisibly connected by a long central corridor along the east terrace. A magnificent Rampart wall was constructed to protect the enchanting sycamore and oak woods. After a few years, Lutyens also designed a White House at the western end of the island as a vacation home for Lord’s daughters.
5. Tranarossan House
Tranarossan House is a countryside home near Downings designed by Edwin Lutyens for a London based couple Robert and Mrs Phillimore as their holiday day. A few years later the chalet was handed over to the An Oige Trust and converted into a youth hostel. The cottage is distinctively designed with local rubble granite and two gable-fronted blocks, with which are detailed uniquely. One gable front is roughcast with sash windows while the other is tile-hung with casement windows. The beautiful chalet blends into the hillside with rocky outcrops and sandy dunes.
6. Costelloe Lodge
Costelloe Lodge, Connemara is an Edwardian style country lodge designed by Edwin Lutyens initially planned as a fishing lodge for Bruce Ismay of the White Star and owner of the titanic. The retreat offers breathtaking views of the Twelve Pins Mountain Range, the Atlantic Ocean and the Casla River.
7. Dublin City Gallery (not constructed)
Edward Lutyens had proposed an extravagant plan for the gallery of Irish art dealer and collector Sir Hugh Lane’s Impressionist paintings. Lutyens had anticipated a gallery spanning across the Liffey River in central Dublin. Though the design was rejected by the Dublin Corporation in 1913 as it required replacing the famous Ha’penny Bridge. The Lutyens and Lane duo later proposed another gallery in St. Stephen’s Green Park but proposal was not finalized and the art gallery never came to picture.