Wednesday 29 August 2018

6 Neo-Classical Influences in Modern Indian Architecture

Architecture and culture have been intertwined since the beginning of human existence. In fact, architecture can be considered as the cultural expression of the people of its time. It is the reflection of the challenges faced by our forefathers and their pioneering and thoughtful ways of getting around them with intelligent design. Those solutions are the backbone of modern day architecture. They speak of who existed, their influences and act as anchors of our past.

Indian architecture is rooted in its varied cultures, history, traditions and religions. It is as old as the history of civilization. The earliest remains of recognizable building dates back to the Indus Valley civilisation. Moreover, India’s architecture is an amalgamation of the various influences that stemmed from its global discourse with other countries of the world throughout its millennia-old past - the French, Portuguese, Mughals and Britishers among many others.

Here we take a look at the various neo-classical architectural styles that were inducted into Indian architecture over the centuries. These forms have evolved with time in terms of its aesthetics and functionality but still bear the signature of its influencers.


Balcony is derived from an old Italian word ‘balcone’ meaning scaffold. It is a platform or external extension of a floor enclosed up to a certain height by a wall, balustrade or railings. They are generally supported by columns or console brackets. The balcony serves to increase the living space of a house and also ensures adequate amount of sunshine and greater ventilation in the house.

Baluster or Balustrade

A baluster also known as spindle or stair stick is a moulded shaft square or lathe turned form, cut from a square or rectangular plank. It is made of wood, stone or sometimes metal. Multiple balusters are known as balustrades. Balustrades stand on a unified footing and its function is to support the coping of a parapet of a staircase, handrail, balcony or terrace. Throughout history, balustrades can be seen in the architectural creations of a wide variety of cultures like the French - ‘balustre’, Italian - ‘balaustro’, Latin - ‘balaustium’ and Greek - ‘balaustion’.


A canopy is an overhead roof or structure over which a fabric or metal covering is attached. Its main function is to provide shade or shelter from external weather conditions, but they can also be constructed for decorative purposes. Modern day canopies may be independent of other structures or may project out from a building, typically providing shelter at an entrance.


A pier in architecture is a support for a structure or superstructure such as an arch. It acts as a vertical load bearer thereby minimising load on the structure. They are mainly made of concrete. Example of piers can be seen in multiple monuments across India like the India Gate, Gateway of India.


Grillwork or simply grill comes from the Old French word greille. It is a decorative grating of metal, wood or stone or other materials used as screen, divider, barrier, or as a purely decorative element. In Indian homes, grillwork is predominantly featured in windows, verandahs, balconies and main gates.


A pediment is an architectural element consisting of a gable of triangular shape, placed above the horizontal structure, typically supported by columns. The pediment is a widely present feature in the architecture of classical Greek temples as well as Renaissance, and Neoclassical architecture.

Architecture is an expression of style and culture. At House of Hiranandani, we have cultivated a unique style of architecture which is expressed in all of our real estate developments. Architectural features such as balustrades, canopies and grillwork sit elegantly alongside contemporary Indian elements such as Mangalore tiles, as seen at our Devanahalli residential project. Piers are a notable feature of the stately towers of our project ‘City by the Sea’ in Egattur. House of Hiranandani celebrates architecture in every project we design and develop, ensuring stylish yet comfortable homes with a signature design.

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