Grand Manner


Herbert BAKER derives his inspiration for The Grand Manner from Blomfeld’s writings in The Mistress Art (1908).

The tenets can be summarised as follows:

Simple monumentality reliant on grand scale and the cumulative effect of a series of buildings set out on an ordered plan as done by the Ancients.

Vast perspectives where great masses of building are blocked out of view only to reappear monumentally and linked in succession [enfilade].

Symmetrical planning, where architectural forms such as hemicycles and exhedra balance each other adjacent open courts, and canted angles if necessitated by one side of the site are reproduced at the other, whether determined by landform or not.

A consideration of the whole as greater than the part, not the separate buildings as units, but as parts of a larger scheme.

Planning of building pavilions along main axial lines.

Immense re-engineering of landscape to form the substructure of the buildings as in the manner of the Roman Empire.

This became what was termed the Imperial or Empire Style, realised in part in BAKER’s Union Buildings, but epitomised in the Secretariat Building in New Delhi, India.

[See FISHER, RC. 2004. The Union Buildings: Reflections on Herbert Baker’s design intentions and unrealized designs. SA Journal of Art History. Vol 19 No 1 pp. 38-47. Link to article ]

Buildings on this website in Grand Manner style