‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’: Unpacking the Dark Symbolism in the Architecture of the ‘Hunger Games’ Movies

Coriolanus Snow’s snowflake-shaped apartment is one of the only stage sets in the prequel and features a combination of several design styles, including Art Deco, Czech cubist, and space-age furnishings and finishes.

Photo: Murray Close/Lionsgate

“Relocations from this very critical, tragic moment in history, where it’s all about the projection of power, felt like a perfect fit for a dystopian story,” says producer Nina Jacobson, who has worked with director Francis Lawrence (and previously Gary Ross) on every series film. Turning a critical eye to this architecture was an important conceit for its production team. “Looking at this architecture again, you have this balance between intimidation and seduction,” explains Hanisch. “For example, the Nazi architecture in the Third Reich was much more into seducing the people into believing in this new regime’s politics versus the Soviet Union, which was much more into intimidating the people and saying, ‘You are nothing, the system is everything.’”

As seen in the prior movies, at the center of all this monumental concrete are the colorful, luxurious, and more fancifully decorated spaces that Snow inhabits. The future president’s family home is a snowflake-shaped abode whose interior architecture is confused, designed with Art Deco, Czech cubist, and space-age furnishings. Snow’s school lectures are taught in a Federalist-style tempietto with a spiral series of benches. The television set where he and his pupils watch the Hunger Games is straight out of a 1960s game show.

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