Art Deco era ceramic tile supplier tablet

Art Deco era ceramic tile supplier tablet (©Valentin Mandache)

During a recent Art Deco and Modernist walking tour in the central area of the Bucharest I photographed the above rare instance of  a well preserved 1930s tablet containing the name and address of a local ceramic tile (“Rako” make) supplier (someone called “B. Ungureanu”). It is part of the tile pavement flooring at the entrance of the famous Modernist building ARO (“The Romanian Insurance”) Building by arch. Horia Creanga (1938) on Calea Victoriei boulevard. I like the lettering style of the tablet, in the Art Deco vein, seen especially in the shape of the letters “S” or “A” and also its modernity- it can well be a nowadays name tablet, with only the web address missing. The tilling and the tablet make up a good quality Art Deco style flooring design, which seems to be a characteristic of the period seen in other examples that I documented on this blog, such as the case of a kitchen ground and that of a hallway floor.

1900s decorative tiles for birthday celebration

1900s decorative tiles, Ana Aslan Institute, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Today is my birthday and I would like to celebrate it with a photographic array of decorative tiles dating from the 1900s, embellishing the façade of Ana Aslan Institute in Bucharest. The tiles display characteristics peculiar to the Art Nouveau style, one of my favourites. Bellow is a photograph of Diana and me taken yesterday, Sunday, in the near evening hours, after we had a nice celebratory dinner, followed by a walk in the beautiful Icoanei Garden area, surrounded by spring flowers and the soothing sunlight so characteristic of this season and latitude.

Birthday celebration, Bucharest, Icoanei Garden, April 2012

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A rare ceramic tile Art Deco façade in Bucharest

Ceramic tile Art Deco ground level façade, late 1930s apartment block, Gara de Nord area, Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

The Art Deco style ceramic façades are a very rare occurrence among the built landscape of Bucharest. Here I managed to find one such elusive example, dating from the late 1930s in the environs of Gara de Nord train station, which has endured a lot of abuse and neglect in the intervening decades, but nevertheless is still managing to convey the spirit of the time. I like how the contrasting black and white parallel strips theme brings to my mind the the cutaway tuxedo suite worn with black tie, white shirt and flashy two tone colour spectator shoes that are the hallmark of the Jazz/ Art Deco era fashion.


I endeavor through this series of daily articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.


If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.