Small Art Deco Block of Flats in Bucharest

Small block of flats in the Art Deco style, dating from mid-1930s, Iancului area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

I like the compact design of this Art Deco apartment block, a bit like a toy house, which manages to occupy a relatively small plot of land in the perennially crowded Bucharest. The architect had to play with volumes and decorative lines in such a way as to give the impression of an airy building throughout, a task excellently achieved as one can see from the design structure of the doorway and entrance hall (at the bottom of this photomontage). The spatiality effect for the doorway is obtained through a gradual increase in the length of the pediment ledges and the receding location of the door relative to the front walls. For the entrance that impression is accomplished through the hollow stepped pyramid shape of the ceiling and the play between the perpendicular lines of the floor’s decorative strips and stair’s steps. These are wonderful visual solutions found by the 1930s architects in the context of a city endowed with a limited and expensive space available for building, a problem which is again very acute in today Bucharest. In my opinion the contemporary planners and architects of this city would have a great deal to learn from the study of their predecessors in order to find solutions for actual travails, but sadly such an undertaking is not and has never been on the radar of  a majority among the professionals that populate these activities in nowadays Romania.

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

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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.