The St. Martin’s church Or The Garrison church as it was known earlier, is located near Raisina hills. The church is designed by the late Mr. Arthur Gordon Shoe Smith around 1930.
It was found that the site was flat and rugged, in spite of which the Architect raised one of the most remarkable churches of India, made in two inch thick brick tiles with minute recessed joints. This Church has all the appeal of a building that has been true to only one material.
The church with the altar at the east end is oriented to the rising sun conforming to the symbol of the risen Christ. The Church resembles the Basilica of Constantine, which is absent of imagery and iconic ornamentation, but donning powerful buttressed walls that rise with successive vertical setbacks. The windows are made very small to avoid the bitter winter winds and harsh summer light of Delhi.
Light and form were handled adeptly to achieve a solemn dignity towards devotion. Limpet Asbestos plaster was applied to the vaults and upper walls for achieving quality acoustics.
In the absence of any drawings, it is judged that the height of the nave is around sixty feet and total height at the highest point is around one hundred and twenty feet from the general ground level.
The building was not maintained properly which is why renovation and restoration works needed to be done urgently to avoid further damage to this beautiful building.
The items of works to be taken up included waterproofing of roof, strengthening of slabs at lower levels, strengthening the tower and roof of the altar, strengthening of and removal of structural cracks developed on the buttresses, restoring the original colour of the brick with the application of chemicals to undo all bacteria attacks on the facade, and internal finishing on the vaulted roof and high walls .
In view of the historic and architectural significance of this austere church and in the absence of any drawings, the work had to be done by older measurement techniques.