We can’t go on living like this: the demise of the Neo-Romanian style

Why the national architectural style of Romania, the Neo-Romanian style, went suddenly into demise in after the communist takeover of December 1947? Was that because of the historic watershed moment affecting then Romania, or it had a period of decline and going out of fashion well before that change in the country? This video endeavours to provide answers to those itching questions regarding the death of the once flourishing and one of the most flamboyant national building designs in Eastern Europe.

 

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

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If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

Tour: Kiseleff area & the late Neoromanian style

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you to a thematic walking tour this Sunday 18 March 2018, on the subject of the late phase of the Neo-Romanian architectural style, which unfurled mainly in the fourth and the fifth decades of the c20th, a period when this order peculiar to Romania reached a crisis in terms of expression, mitigated by a fascinating synthesis with the Art Deco, Mediterranean and Modernist styles. The tour takes two hours, between 11.30h – 13.30h, and it may be of interest to those of you visiting the city as a tourist or on business, looking to find out more about its enchanting historic architecture and identity.

The modern construction technologies that emerged in the roaring twenties affording the development of light, airy structures expressed in the Art Deco and Modernist architecture, were quite antithetical to the traditionally ornate, heavy-built Neo-Romanian style edifices, as typical to its early and mature phases. That led to a crisis within this indigenous architectural order, threatened also by the high popularity among the public of the international modern styles or other fashionable building types, such as the Mediterranean inspired designs, which were all the rage in Bucharest during the 1930s. The Neo-Romanian style managed to survive and even thrive, until the Read more

Tour in Mosilor area

Dear readers,

This is an invitation to an architectural walking tour in Mosilor area of Bucharest, open to all of you who would like to accompany me, the author of the Historic Houses of Romania blog, Saturday 17 March 2018, for two hours, between 11.30h – 13.30h.

I will be your guide through one of the most picturesque areas of historic Bucharest, that has known a spectacular development after the unification of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia in the aftermath of the Crimean War. It is located on the road stemming from the old city toward Moldavia, known in the olden times as “The Highway” (“Drumul Mare”). Its name comes from that of the famous Mosilor fair, held outside Bucharest’s walls, where traders and peasants from Moldavia and north-eastern Wallachia came with their goods and products. Among of the most active and successful traders were the Armenians, who had Read more

The 10 best videos for 2017 – Historic Houses of Romania

I have shot over 150 video podcasts throughout 2017, in both English and Romanian, on a multitude of themes related to the architectural history of Romania and Southeast Europe. For me it represents the start of an activity direction, which I would like to culminate, funding and interest from the public permitting, in the production of documentary films on architectural history subjects. Here are what I consider as the best 10 such videos for that period, in English. I am curious if you have a favourite one from this list or from the other videos realised yesteryear (find them according to their publication date, on the Video Reports page)? Please send your views using the comments section of this post.

1. Walking like a Saxon

2. What is the Little Paris style”

3. The architecture of the Muslim community of Romania

4. Ceausescu’s architectural imagination

5. Traces of WWII bombing in Bucharest

6. The kitsch statue of King Carol I

7. Manichaean symbolism in Neo-Romanian style houses

8. From the tower of Deutsch Weisskirch/ Viscri church

9. In front of the former Nazi embassy, Bucharest

10. My first architectural photography exhibition

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

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If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

The vernacular Neo-Romanian architecture

This video is a review of how the Neo-Romanian style had an echo, especially in the countryside, even as it was officially repudiated by the Romanian communist state, in the aftermath of the Second World War. The peasant communities experienced a time of relative prosperity from the 1950s until the 1970s, when the houses in the countryside were built in a vernacular manner, inspired from the now defunct urban Neo-Romanian architecture, which was however deeply imprinted within the national mindset, after an evolution of six decades, prior to its rejection by the communist regime. The podcast details how the Neo-Romanian style had a last and quite spectacular phase in the rural environment, which is practically an unknown chapter of architectural history.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

Tour in Berthelot area

Historic Houses of Romania tour in Berthelot areaDear readers,

I would like to invite you to a Historic Houses of Romania walking tour, in the area centered on Mathias Berthelot Street, just north of Cismigiu Park, which is a repository of some of the most representative period architecture imprinting the personality of Romania’s capital, akin to an open air museum of its built heritage.

The tour is scheduled to take place this Sunday 4 March 2018, between the hours 12.00h – 14.00h. This cultural excursion could be of interest to any of you visiting Romania’s capital as a tourist or on business, looking to understand the character of this metropolis through discovering its peculiar and fascinating old architecture.

Mathias Berthelot, whose name is given to the main street in the area, was a French general of the Great War era, who in 1916 became the commander of the Allied mission tasked with reorganising and equipping Romania’s Royal Army, thus enabling it to effectively oppose the Central Powers and hinder their plans to occupy the country. For his achievements he was made a honorary citizen of Romania and is considered a hero of both countries. The French influence is also prevalent in the architecture of Berthelot urban space, seen in an array containing quaint Little Paris style residences, displaying Art Nouveau decorations besides, palazzos, and the best of them all, the French Renaissance inspired Kretzulescu Palace, one of the town’s iconic buildings, erected in the Read more

Poo smelling problems in Bucharest’s historic houses

The sewerage system of central Bucharest, where most of its historic houses are located, is a century to a eight decades old, without much maintenance in the meanwhile, while the pipework of the old houses is again decrepit and leaking. That creates the unwelcome conditions to generating foul smell in many of those houses, who are now on the real estate market at unbelievable prices, odours felt even by passersby on the street. The human waste is thus improperly flushed, and the all prevalent poo smelling is in many instances a characteristic of Bucharest period houses. The authorities do not do much to address that problems, which would entitle huge public funds to overhaul and modernise the sewerages system, money they prefer to use in their political propaganda and pay kickbacks to political clients, while the house owners usually do not have the financial power to repair their building’s pipework. This video endeavours to inform you about this more esoteric problem, which can add important costs to the renovation/ restoration project of a historic house.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

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If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

In Romania you don’t have mineral rights for the ground under your property

The mining law in Romania stipulates that all mineral wealth under the soil is the exclusive property of the state. You, if you happen to have a house or field sitting on mineral ore deposits, like iron, gold, or coal, gas, oil, etc., then you don’t have any right to it, and run the risk to be easily expropriated by the state at meager market prices, losing a large part of your investment, effort and time invested in your property. The big problem, apart from outrightly excluding you from a stake in that wealth, is the fact that because of the prevalent corruption in Romania, those money will be in important part siphoned off and not used for the public good. This video discusses those conflicts, and the need to make an informed decision when you decide to buy a property in Romania, by paying attention to a lesser known aspect of the property legislation.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

Architecturally rendered monograms

When one wanders in the old parts of a large town like Bucharest and has a keen eye for architectural details, is struck by the abundance of monograms on buildingfacades, gates, fences, on the interior architecture, furniture and a multitude of other locations. The monograms are the initials of the proprietor who built that edifice in the past, or added later to mark new proprietors, and represent an interesting identity marker and a design detail. This video presents monograms found within or without Bucharest buildings, on periods stretching from the 18th century, La Belle Epoque period, interwar period to even more modern times.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

The stock market bloodbath and the prices for historic houses

The international stock markets are wobbly, and some analysts are even predicting a new economic crisis akin to the one that shook the world a decade ago. How this volatility and eventual crisis will affect the prices for historic real estate in a country like Romania? This video discusses the specialist market segment for historic houses from a comparative perspective, making references to the past crisis.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.