This week, Tina is looking for Interesting Architecture as the theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I have featured the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois in previous posts but when I think of interesting architecture my mind automatically goes to this place and I can’t help but refer back to it. The Mandir is so unlike anything else that we see here in the Chicago area.
Apart from the beautiful design and incredible craftsmanship of the structure, it’s interesting to see how its appearance changes with the light, depending on the time of day or even year. There are moments when it looks mellow and mystical and at others, when the midday sun beats down on it and the air is sharp and clear, the white exterior is almost blinding.
Hand carved in India from Italian marble and Turkish limestone, the sculpted pieces, 40,000 in total, were then shipped to Bartlett where they were assembled on a 27-acre lot over a period of 16 months. The Mandir was officially inaugurated in 2004.
In 2004, the complex was awarded the Chicago Building Congress Merit Award and has been recognized by The American Institute of Architects as one of the 150 Great Places in Illinois. The Mandir, previously closed because of the COVID pandemic, has now reopened its doors to visitors.