For all the Potterheads of the world, the happiest memory for conjuring their Patronus charm is walking down the imaginary lane of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, along with the thrilling emotions of a Quidditch match and then a peaceful walk to Hagrid’s Cabin. The places and memories of fiction attached to it develop a keen interest in its architecture and reliving the fantasy.
The fictional life of wizards is powerful enough to visualize itself as reality. If architecture and our surroundings are not a part of both fiction and life, it would be a lie. The wizarding world is every Potterhead’s dream life, making them wonder over its magical structures and the pleasant landscape planning around it. The wizards and witches have engraved their fantasy worlds in our minds. It is an appreciation of both, the movies and books’ visual communication that this fiction has created a distinctive effect on our individual lives.
The journey to the Wizarding World has many architectural marvels and places we love coming across. Following is a list of some that might spark the joy of reliving the wizarding world.
1. Diagon Alley
The wizarding alley concealed from the muggle world is an extensive cobblestoned area filled with a diversity of shops and restaurants. The first wizarding place Harry visited was the Diagon Alley. The entrance to the alley is behind the famous pub, Leaky Cauldron.
By tapping the specific brick pattern on a small brick wall in the courtyard behind the pub, the market area is visible. The wall at first develops a small opening, then leads to the hustle-bustle of the Diagon Alley through a large archway.
The hints of Art Deco architecture visible in many shops of the Diagon Alley and the ornate roof designs make it look bustling. The shops majorly have arched and colored entrances. The chief material used in shops is timber and stone, with wood used as the architrave and entry door frames. There are petite columns that add to the beauty of some places.
The circular projections at the front of many shops like Ollivanders is an attractive feature that makes the shop stand out from others. The lane seems narrow in general irrespective of the hawkers. The show gallery of many shops attracts the young wizards that add to the crowd. Diagon Alley is a perfect lively market scene.
2. Gringotts Wizarding Bank
The Gringotts Wizarding Bank, owned and operated by goblins, stands as the only wizarding bank. Situated around the north side of Diagon Alley, the bank stores money and valuables of the wizards, and even provides exchange service for muggle money into wizard money.
The security achieved at the Gringotts bank is through the levels of the building. The vaults with higher security are deep under the city, accessible through a fleet cart run by goblins through a complex stone passageway.
Gringotts is the only tall building in Diagon Alley, towering over all shops. The white exterior of the building has barely-decorated columns at the front, and a semi-circular projection at the front, similar to the Ollivanders. The entrance to the building is through the bronze and silver doors leading to the main lobby.
The busy interior of the bank has the noise of only goblins working on their large counter desks. The white marble floor reaches the end of the bank from where the vaults start. Interestingly, the highest security vaults are under the surveillance of dragons, handled only by goblins.
3. Kings Cross Station
There are many modes of transportation like broomsticks, portkeys, floo powder, and even flying cars within the wizarding world. Irrespective of that, one of the safest modes of transportation is the Hogwarts Express. At the platform 9¾ on Kings Cross Station, London stands the Hogwarts Express waiting for wizards.
The station is for both muggles and wizards. Though, young wizards got easily recognized at the Kings Cross station with their loaded trunks and pets, heading towards their boarding school– Hogwarts.
The Kings Cross Station in London was the filming location of Harry Potter. Interestingly, the station in real has platforms 9 and 10 in a separate building divided by two intervening tracks. In the movie, however, platforms 4 and 5 act as 9 and 10 as they have brick roof support arches in between. The same brick wall is the entrance to platform 9¾. There are two arched train sheds at the arrival, and the south side is a brick structure to reflect the arch work. The station gives the hint of Victorian-style architecture, and the design was by Lewis Cubitt.
4. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
The renowned wizarding school every Potterhead wishes to join is unambiguous. The medieval Gothic style had an influential significance on the architecture of Hogwarts Castle. Though, many other styles like Norman Romanesque, Gothic Revival are also visible. The attractive elements are the pointed towers with small turrets, pinnacles, lancet windows, and massive semi-circular arches over the fenestrations. There are mesmerizing fan vaulting cloisters visible, which represent Gothic architecture.
There were many places in and around Hogwarts that caught the attention of many. The castle had many other features like spires, vaulted ceilings, and even bell towers. Overall, the significantly famous Hogwarts castle was a masterpiece that involved every element of its time. Interestingly, one can visit Alnwick castle to have an experience of Hogwarts, which was the filming location of two Harry Potter movies.
5. Quidditch Stadium
The quidditch stadium is the heart-throbbing field filled with cheers and excitement all around. The stadium is a hockey rink-sized field that organizes the fictional game of Quidditch. Hogwarts had its own stadium and organized matches between their houses every year. The sport involves two teams of seven players positioned on broomsticks.
The quidditch pitch size is oval-shaped, with 500 ft. long and 180 ft. wide. At a high stand, there are hundreds of seats arranged around the field. For the spectators to have a clear view of the match, the plinth is set high. The encircling platform style resembles the gladiator arenas of the old-roman days. The alternative stands around the pitch are differently colored, representing the teams, with the spectators in between these stands. There were three golden poles, 50-feet high with hoops on end on either end of the pitch.
6. Forbidden Forest
Landscaping has been a significant part of architecture and creates a sense of connection between the environment and people. The Forbidden Forest near Hogwarts School acts as a majority part of the landscape around it. The forbidden forest is the perfect location for some adventure, for wizards with a curious mind, the reason why it is forbidden.
The trees in the forest are considered dense and rough. The forest area surrounds the edge of Hogwarts ground. The forest houses many creatures, both dangerous and friendly.
7. The Burrow
The Burrow is a magical house looking rusty and old, hidden from the muggles through magic, located alongside river Otten. The Burrow represents the home of a cozy family that radiates warmth and love from every corner of the house. The safe and secure ambiance felt around the family is the main attraction of the Burrow. The Weasley family proudly owns their little dwelling, held by magic.
A small yard was at the front of the house, accompanied by a garage that occupied the flying car. An overgrown garden with weeds, tall grass, and gnomes was behind the house, with a pond full of frogs. The Weasleys had a small orchard behind their garden, where the children practiced Quidditch.
The house had a kitchen, living room, scullery, bedrooms, and attic. The rear entrance was from the kitchen that had a large wooden dining table with eight chairs. The kitchen acted as a social center for the Weasleys. The home in, general, had furniture jumbled up.
The living room covered many scenes of the movie. The place was cozy with a large fireplace, a magical clock, and furniture, including an armchair and a sofa. There were at least six bedrooms in the house, each having its fireplace and a chimney visible on the roof. The five floors above the ground floor and below the attic had individual bedrooms connected with the staircase.
8. Chamber of Secrets
The Chamber of Secrets, as the name suggests, was built secretly by Salazar Slytherin. The Chamber held the Basilisk- an enormous snake that would be unleashed by the true Slytherin. The objective behind building this was that the snake would remove muggle-born wizards from Hogwarts. Though the intention did not complete, it left a remark on its incredible design.
The hideous entry to the underground place was from an ordinary sink of Moaning Myrtle’s washroom. The scratch on one side of the copper tap had a tiny snake, which represented the Basilisk. The sink led the way to a wide tunnel, through which any human could slide down. At the end of the tunnel stood a solid wall with two entwined snakes carved into it. The wall cracks open and leads to the dimly lit cave. The stone pillars with more carvings of serpents supported the dark ceiling.
The place had a colossal height that strengthened sound and made the creature inside aware. The end wall had a statue as high as the place. The whole ambiance designed by the sly and cunning wizard depicted its function on its own.
9. Ministry of Magic Headquarters
The Ministry of Magic (M.o.M.) was the place where wizarding laws are made and upheld. The career-driven and ambitious wizards who work here are dedicated to making the wizarding world better and safer. The headquarters of the Ministry was in the heart of London.
The structure was built underground and had ten levels, each designated to a different department. There was an atrium on level eight, through which the wizards and witches entered. The long hall had fireplaces along the wall, with the polished dark wood floor for the employees who used Floo Powder.
10. Shrieking Shack
The Shrieking Shack, termed as a haunted place, stood on the outskirts of Hogsmeade. Located slightly higher than the rest of the village, it seemed scary even in broad daylight. The objective of building this haunted place was to hide Remus Lupin during his days of transformation to a werewolf.
The building appeared frightening so that it prevented visitors, and no one would get hurt by werewolf Lupin. In the movie, the Shack appears to be a two-storeyed building, with creaked wooden flooring and dust all around. The abandoned house with broken furniture welcomed no one, and its entrance was through a secret tunnel from Hogwarts from the base of the Whomping Willow on Hogwarts grounds.
11. Three Broomsticks
The Three Broomsticks is the well-known pub in Hogsmeade, amongst others. Known for its delicious butterbeer, the pub is the fun spot of almost every wizard. The warm and crowded place is famous for many scenes including the interview scene of Harry Potter with Rita Skeeter. The pub has a fireplace at the end of it and an inn above it.
The inn comprises rooms that served as headquarters for the Ministry of Magic during the revolts from Highlands. The pub is supported by arches and the stone wall presumably, for climatic reasons. The wooden staircase leads towards the inn from the main pub. The entry to the inn above is through a cracked battened wooden door. The interior is clumsy and shabby, with a gable roof and small windows attached to it, allowing some dim light to enter.
The British settlement, inhabited only by wizards, was founded around the medieval period. The village is northwest of Hogwarts castle and houses many famous shops that sell basic wizarding amenities and even Quidditch supplies. The planning and places inside the town are similar to the muggle towns.
The shops for basic needs and revenues, restaurants and eateries for entertainment, the post office for communication (though wizards could easily use floo powder), and a railway station that welcomed young wizards fulfilled the town life.
Hogsmeade’s main road- High Street, divided further into more unnamed lanes, and on the sides, the shops and residences were present. Hogsmeade entertained scheduled visits from Hogwarts students in and above the third year. Students roamed around the High Street and visited the series of shops and pubs.
Constructed through wood and stone, the houses and shops even had gable and sloping roof patterns for climatic reasons. The village had leaning medieval houses reflecting its origin. The railway station that connects Kings Cross to Hogwarts was Hogsmeade station.
13. Azkaban, the Wizard Prison
Azkaban is the only and the most terrible prison that holds criminal wizards. The only official prison inspired its name from the word Abaddon, which means place of destruction. As the deadly name suggests, the prison lies on an isolated island in the North Sea.
The prison resembles Alcatraz, a real-life prison situated on an island in San Francisco, California. Its form was different from Alcatraz and more of imaginative construction. Azkaban was laid out in a concentric triangular form, with an interior courtyard, it looks similar to a watchtower due to its height. The composition of the prison resembles a triangular prism with a graveyard surrounding it.
Hesphaestus Gore renovated Azkaban with the most effective construction material to prevent any breakout. The prison had a flawless track record of keeping prisoners locked up, thanks to its deadly guards, the Dementors. which was broken three centuries later by the wrongly imprisoned Sirius Black, who escaped in his Animagi form.
14. Room of Requirements
The secret room with everything available, but only to those in desperate need. The room is located on the seventh floor, opposite a tapestry. Concealed through a usual brick wall, but when needed, the brick wall opens up into a heavily ornamented door and leads the way to a secret room.
The specialty about the room of requirements lies in its name. The room appeared and changed to suit every requirement. The room could occupy any space as small as a broom cupboard and sometimes a hall large enough to train students for a fight against the death eaters. Harry Potter book 1 mentioned the room when Harry found the Mirror of Erised. The grandeur of the room with wide archways seen in book 5 has a similar pattern of elements in Hogwarts Castle itself.
The interior of the room took a mesmerizing form when Harry Potter trained Dumbledore’s Army. The light peeped through the windows, with a fireplace at the end of the arched passageway. The interior lighting with ceiling chandeliers added to the beauty. Interestingly, the conversion of the room took the form of a junk-room in book 6, when Harry had to get rid of the Half-Blood Prince’s Potions book. The changes in the room of requirements challenged architecture and any built form through magic.
15. Number 12, Grimmauld Place
The Grimmauld place or a pun for grim-old, due to its appearance and shoddy maintenance. Hidden from the muggle world, between house number 11 and 13, lies the Grimmauld place, owned by the Black family, the house slides and appears from between its neighboring houses. It resembles the exact exterior of its neighbor houses. The house opened directly onto the street and had a few steps to enter through it.
The structure represents Georgian architecture, with its windows placed on its facade. The house type is a Georgian terraced house, made broad and relatively shallower. The classical order of architecture is also visible. The house could accommodate a large gathering, with its dining hall elongated enough.