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To celebrate World Architecture Day 2023 we are delighted to share the research of Dr Rani Massey that highlights the work of the Griffins in Lucknow, India. This research features the Bhatia House, which is perhaps one of the last Griffin buildings that remain in Lucknow. The house was designed by Walter Burley Griffin in 1936, and completed by his wife Marion Mahony in 1937, following Walter’s untimely death in India.

Dr Massey describes the Bhatia House as “a horizontally modern structure, reminiscent of the Prairie influence.” From her visit to the house in April 2023, she observed: the geometric pattern, inspired by nature, common to the gatepost and building facade; art deco style inlays in the original front verandah polished concrete flooring; and distinctive geometric Griffin designed doors and windows. Other features include thick brick walls with small exterior openings to shut out the intense summer heat, inventive concrete roofing and concealed wiring – a new concept. Read the full article in the NewsUpdate No.79_WBGS_August 2023 pages 3–6.

Called ‘Shanti Sadan’ (peaceful abode) by the Bhatia family it is much loved and cherished by the second and third generations of the Bhatia family.

In 2019 the Bhatia House received the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) award in the private home category.

Bhatia House, 2023. Photograph Vijay Massey 

Further reading

NewsUpdate No.79_WBGS_August 2023 with Bhatia family recollections and Dr Massey’s article about the Bhatia House pages 3–6 

Two American Architects in India: Walter B. Griffin and Marion M. Griffin 1935–37, by Paul Kruty and Paul E. Sprague, Urbana, School of Architecture, University of Illinois, 1997. The book is a comprehensive examination of the brief but productive period during which the Griffins worked in northern India, and can be purchased at