Otto H. Koenigsberger (1908–99) was a German émigré architect who arrived in India in 1939 and worked there until 1951. Histories of South Asian modernism document Koenigsberger’s architecture as a coherent set of buildings that seamlessly synthesize the ideals of modernism with Indian traditions. This paper argues that Koenigsberger’s work in Mysore was neither coherent nor graspable as a simple synthesis of modernism with Indian local traditions. Koenigsberger’s early buildings in Mysore State belong to a genre that this paper terms ‘messy modernisms’, in which the categories of global and local are destabilized. This paper defines messy modernist architecture as a cultural artifact that can no longer be understood as a fusion of global and local architectures, because the complex global trajectory of the development of Indian local architectures illuminates how they were enmeshed within global architectural practices. In the 1940s, the local Mysorean assimilationist attributes of Koenigsberger’s architecture were not place-bound in their regional specificity. This paper situates Koenigsberger’s architecture within the global networks and the colonial architectural cultures in princely Mysore from 1939 to 1941. The Indian local influences on Koenigsberger’s work – colonial Neoclassical architecture, Indo-Saracenic architecture, Mysore Public Works Department (PWD) standardized plans known as type-designs, and the Bombay Art Deco movement – have a complex history of indigenization and circulation along the colonial intra-networks within South Asia, the colonial networks of the British Empire, and global flows that render the category of local extremely complex.