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BUDAÖRS AIRPORT AND ITS PHOTOMONTAGE – SYMBOLS OF MODERNISM

Csengel-Plank, Ibolya (2017) BUDAÖRS AIRPORT AND ITS PHOTOMONTAGE – SYMBOLS OF MODERNISM. Acta Historiae Artium Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 58. pp. 167-275. ISSN 0001-5830

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Abstract

Budaörs Airport is a work of modern architecture built in 1937 in a country that was fundamentally conservative in its political outlook, and was the first public airport in Hungary that met European standards. It was designed by the architects Virgil Bierbauer and László Králik. The airport architecture made use of the lessons learned, both positive and negative, from countless airports in other countries. In this regard it successfully overcame the technical and other problems faced by designers in European countries, which had made it necessary to redesign the airports in these countries in the midthirties. The building was simultaneously modern and pragmatic. Its overhead view, with the side wings attached to the circular passenger hall, clearly shows the purpose of the building. Budaörs Airport was built as a transit airport: it was intended to have an important geopolitical role in connecting air passengers from Central Europe with other countries and continents in the world. In the 1920s, countless airports had been constructed in Europe to deal with air traffic between the different countries and between Europe and their colonies. Hungary, however, had long been excluded from this development, due to the terms of the peace treaties that concluded the First World War. It was not until the mid-1930s that the country had the chance to break free from these restrictions. Budaörs Airport became a symbol both of this newfound liberty and of the start of modern civil aviation, while its creation was also closely linked to the changing lifestyle of the 1920s and 1930s. The interior of the airport was also designed to meet the expectations of the modern human with an interest in all the new things of the world. The interior decoration of the passenger hall was quite innovative: bearing in mind the philosophical background underlying modern movements in art, it combined the compositional approach of painting (aeropittura, Expressionism) with the techniques of photomontage and murals. This composition, known by the title of “The Experience of Flight,” aimed to fill the room with a vision of flight, based partly on realistic and partly on imaginary images, to inspire passengers arriving in the passenger hall, as well as whoever accompanied them. Running all the way around the upstairs balustrade, the enormous photomontage – photofrieze, photomural – was the result of collaboration between the architect Virgil Bierbauer and the painter and photographer Ada Ackermann (Mrs Elemér Marsovszky), and was made using aerial photographs from Hungary and Europe. By presenting Budaörs Airport in detail, this study is intended as a contribution to investigations into the unique modern architectural world of airport architecture and to the evaluation of the decorative and propagandistic role played by photography.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: N Fine Arts / képzőművészet > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR / vizuális művészet általában
N Fine Arts / képzőművészet > NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament / iparművészet, díszítőművészet
Depositing User: Anna Molnár
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2018 08:24
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2018 08:24
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/86810

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