The Senate House is the administrative centre of the University of Madras in Chennai, India. It is situated in Wallajah Road, along Marina Beach. Constructed by Robert Chisholm between 1874 and 1879, the Senate building is considered to be one of the best and oldest examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture in India.
Robert Chisholm was a 19th-century British architect who is considered to be one of the pioneers of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Initially designing buildings using the Renaissance and Gothic styles of architecture, Chisholm switched over to Indo-Saracenic with the construction of the PWD buildings of the Chepauk Palace in 1871.
In 1864, the Madras government gave an advertisement inviting designs for the Senate House building. Chisholm’s design was eventually approved and the building was constructed between April 1874 and 1879. Prior to the construction of the Senate House, university convocations were held at Banqueting Hall (now Rajaji Hall). During July 14-December 21, 1937 the legislature of the Madras Presidency met at the senate house.