Majestic “Urban Symmetry” of Budapest Architecture Taken by the Lenses of Zsolt Hlinka

Have you watched “The Grand Budapest Hotel”? The critically acclaimed historical comedy was awarded the 2014 Academy Award for Best Production Design among many other awards. Although it is called the Grand Budapest Hotel, the fictional hotel featured in the movie is not actually in Budapest but in Lutz, a city in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka. However, the architecture of the fictional hotel resembles that of Budapest’s art nouveau-styled buildings and their grandiose symmetric façades. If the majestic style of the Hotel was up to your liking, then you are in for more pleasure thanks to the Budapest-based photographer Zsolt Hlinka and his series “Urban Symmetry”.

Hlinka photographed the symmetric ornate façades of the older buildings of the city along the River Danube, then turned them into portrait-like images. His portraits do not feature the entire building but only its reflected part. He, also, replaces the contexts with plain backgrounds of different colors in order to bring out the distinctive features of the façades. Here is the photographer’s own description of the series:

“Urban Symmetry presents buildings on the banks of the River Danube, which are emphasized out of their surroundings and put into soundproof, homogeneous space cleaned off the whole exterior information. However, the series cannot be considered as a dry study, because it does not depict the raw reality: if you get a closer view of the photographs, you may discover that none of the pictures show the building in its full form, but only its reflected part. After all, these fictitious buildings coming into existence perfectly grab and condense their original character into themselves, as if you could see human faces and different personalities on the building portraits.”

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