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An architectural heritage

A selection of doorways recorded by Sandor Pal Vaci

The Budapest portas, doorways including the surrounding architectural treatment and entrance lobbies, in the historic centre are a characteristic and readily identifiable element of the cityís architectural heritage. The doorways into residential blocks were single entries: all the residents, servants, tradesmen, deliveries and rubbish removals passed through here. The individually designed portas show astonishing variety, exuberance, originality and craftsmanship rarely found in other cities. The portas in this collection have been selected entirely on the basis of visual appeal by simply walking the streets and photographing those of worthwhile interest. In this context the name of the architect, the date of erection and even the style are of secondary importance. The eclectic style was an uninhibited mix of nineteenth-century baroque, classical, Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau. Thirties Modern is also included as the epilogue to decoration.

The design effort and expense lavished on the portas expressed the confidence of the rapidly growing city in the 1900s and introspection after the First World War (fewer sculptures, no lions). The extravagant designs were conscious features intended to attract tenants, display status and compete with Vienna. This collection attempts to highlight the quality and ring the alarm about what needs to be saved. The portas are listed by districts of the city (I., II., V., VI., VII., VIII., IX., XI., XII., XIII., XIV.). The photographs were taken between April 2004 and January 2007. This website was launched to coincide with the exhibition at the Gödör Klub in Budapest during July 2008.

Gödör Klub, Budapest 2008 julius 2-28
Gödör Klub, Budapest, July 2-28 2008