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A Tour of Art Deco Budapest (Part 1)

zita kisgergely

Art Deco was one of the first architectural styles to really go global. From LA to Paris, its use of geometric patterns, colorful facades, and modern-feeling forms influenced not just building, but graphic arts and industrial design. Emerging around World War I, it became the go-to style for architects who wanted to give attention-grabbing, elegant, and modern designs to their structures. It was very much the style of the machine age, and relied on angular geometry more than curved, humanistic forms for its inspiration. Though the style was originated in France, for the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, held in Paris in 1925, the iconic Empire State Building in the USA might be the best-known example of the style.

As a forward-thinking, future-minded city, Budapest was of course not immune to the charms of all Art Deco had to offer. With the cubist movement popular among painters, and materials like stainless steel, chrome, mahogany, and glass more readily and inexpensively available, local architects and designers fell under the sway of all Art Deco had to offer. The results are some of Budapest's most striking and distinctive architecture. While not as immediately stunning and overwhelming as other popular styles like Gothic and Baroque, or the Brutalism of the later Socialists, the Art Deco of Budapest takes a keen eye and appreciation for design to spot and enjoy.

Luckily, you needn't leave stumbling across Budapest's Art Deco gems to chance anymore, as a local Art Deco aficionado and photographer, Zoltán Bolla, has documented the prominent examples from around the city and collected them for a self walking tour, and two-volume book (link below). Over this week and next week, we will be showcasing the best examples from the Bolla's extensive portfolio. So sit back and enjoy the understated beauty of Art Deco Budapest (click on image to enlarge).

All photographs are used by permission of Zoltán Bolla, whose two volume A magyar art deco építészet, or Hungarian Art Deco Architecture, is available at the link.

Flatpack Films is based in Budapest, Hungary. We are a film company that offers an inspiring and professional work atmosphere for our local and international clients. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast, and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we facilitate, we do to highest standard possible.