Hogwarts at GCU | Shehr


The building’s features remind visitors of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. – Author’s photos

LLast year, the historic Government College University (GCU), Lahore building, with its imposing towers and turrets designed in the tradition of Gothic architecture, lent itself to the fictional world of Harry Potter when Khayaali Productions , the local makers of a fan movie potter, were looking to recreate Hogwarts in the city. That they finally found The last disciple and the resurrection of Voldemort, a purely student short film, is old news.

It was only recently that the young directors had the chance to present their film to the GCU, which is also their foster mother. The film inspired the university administration to organize a whole Harry Potter festival, which lasted more than a week. Festival visitors were amazed to see GCU come to life as a reimagined Potter school of wizardry and wizardry.

The GCU building, which stands on a natural hillock, was built in colonial times. Construction began in 1872 and was completed in 1877. According to Dr. Ajaz Anwar, the GCU is “known to be a mysterious building. The main [building] looks like a church; it has two towers, the taller one is known as the steeple, but for long periods there was no bell inside. In addition, there is a large hall with stamp wood and a slate stone roof.

He says the building is made from the best British red bricks. “Since we hadn’t made much progress in technology at the time, cast iron was used instead of welding for the balcony grilles.

“The architecture of that time depended on natural light and air, hence the roofs and doors [of GCU building] are very high, and most rooms with windows face north to keep temperatures cooler in summer.

There was a separate area for brewing potions.
There was a separate area for brewing potions.

“The architecture of that time depended on natural light and air, hence the roofs and doors [of GCU building] are very high, and most rooms with windows face north to maintain cooler temperatures in summer.

There are two porches – one in front of the beautiful Salam Hall and the other in front of the VC office. The room is inspired by “the architecture of the basilica, with a central nave and aisles along all four sides. The nave has a double height. The four naves are on two floors and form a gallery on the upper floor.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the GCU building is that it does not have gargoyles, which have been part of Gothic architecture for ages. Gargoyles are decorative, monstrous little creatures known to ward off evil spirits and threaten enemies. Their spouts helped rainwater to drain off the roof.

These college building features would certainly remind visitors of JK Rowling Harry potter series. Speaking to this scribe, Mariam Hassan Naqvi, who played one of the main actors of The last disciple and the resurrection of Voldemort, said, “Gothic architecture has always felt like Hogwarts to us. When Walid [the director of the movie] gave us the idea [of a Potter fan movie], we were all very excited. We put all of our heart and soul into making the film.

Salam Hall has been transformed into the Great Hall of Hogwarts.
Salam Hall has been transformed into the Great Hall of Hogwarts.

The Potter fan movie is set several years after Harry Potter and his friends took out Lord Voldemort. Director Waleed Akram, who is also the cinematographer and editor of the film, is said to have shot the entire film at GCU. The special effects of the film, performed by Zeeshan Hameed, also deserve a mention.

In addition to the film screening, the festival featured plenty of Harry Potter merchandise, food stalls, makeup and poster stalls, and photo booths. The “Muggles” – students dressed in “Potterverse” costumes, sporting pointy wizard / witch hats and wielding magic wands – introduced visitors to the Salam Room, remodeled like Hogwarts Great Hall, with brooms, bats and a separate area for brewing potions. Potter movie theme music playing in the background.


The writer is a freelance journalist


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