English architect. His designs ranged from the picturesque, such as Castle Drogo (1910–30), Devon, to Renaissance-style country houses, and ultimately evolved into a classical style as seen in the Cenotaph, London (1919), and the Viceroy's House, New Delhi, India (1912–31). His complex use of space, interest in tradition, and distorted classical language have proved of great interest to a number of postmodern architects, especially Robert Venturi.
He was born in London, the son of a painter. After a very brief training in the office of Ernest George (1839–1922), he began practice at the age of 19. His first commission was a country cottage, Munstead Wood (1896), for Gertrude Jekyll, who greatly influenced his earlier work. For many years this consisted almost entirely of country houses, picturesque in design and showing sympathetic understanding of traditional materials. Typical examples are The Deanery, Sonning (1900), and Marsh Court, Stockbridge (1901).
His later designs displayed a more formal Georgian or Queen Anne style, a particularly dignified example being Heathcote, Ilkley (1906). Between 1907 and 1909 he designed buildings, including two churches, in Hampstead Garden Suburb. From 1910 onwards he carried out many public and a few commercial buildings. Among these were the British Pavilion at the Rome Exhibition in 1910; the British Embassy, Washington; and Britannic House (1926), and the Midland Bank Head Office (1924–39 with J A Gotch), both in London.
Lutyens was knighted in 1918, and was President of the Royal Academy from 1938 to 1944