A special film about BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, has been produced as part of the Mandir’s ongoing participation in the annual Open House London festival.
Open House London is an annual architecture festival that celebrates the finest buildings in the British capital. The programme began in 1992 with the aim to offer free access to London’s architectural marvels and inspire the public about the benefits of great design. Open House London is organised by Open-City, with more than 46 cities across the world now embracing its concept.
In the absence of a physical visit to the Mandir this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Open House London produced a short film instead. It provides an insightful glimpse into the Mandir for those who would have otherwise visited the Mandir for the first time and even those who would love to visit again. The film has become the most popular on the Open House London YouTube channel, and also features on the Open-City website homepage, which attracts 450,000 hits in the run up to the Open House festival each year.
Jim Stephenson, an architectural photographer and filmmaker who produced the film, shared, “When we started planning which buildings to visit for the Open House film series, Neasden Temple was high on the list. I was stunned the first time I walked into the Mandir and the Haveli. I have to thank everyone involved in the making of the film for their help and their warmth on the day. I’m really pleased we can now share it.”
Assistant Curator for Open House Nyima Murry added, “We were delighted to be able to film the Mandir to allow Open House visitors virtual access to this incredible space, and hope that through this film we are able to celebrate the craftsmanship of this building and its cultural importance to the city.”
Kamlesh Patel, a volunteer at the Mandir, said, “We’re delighted to be able to continue supporting and contributing to Open House London even though we weren’t able to physically welcome visitors this year. When the Mandir opened in 1995, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj envisioned it as a place of peace, learning and celebration for people of all faiths and cultures, so we’re very thankful to the wonderful team at Open House London for choosing to film Neasden Temple and allowing so many to experience the architectural beauty and spiritual meaning of the Mandir.”