Bucharest mid-1930s Art Deco Style House

Bucharest mid-1930s Art Deco style house, Cotroceni area. (©Valentin Mandache)

From my fieldwork in Bucharest, I came to the view that an appreciable number of this city’s Art Deco style houses were designed by Italian architectural bureaus and/ or were also built by Italian construction firms active in the city during the inter-war period. There is a long tradition of Italian architects’ and builders’ presence in this region, first documented in in the late c17th when the Wallachian Prince Constantin Brancoveanu built his famous palaces that became an essential inspiration source for the later Neo-Romanian architectural style. The Romanian inter-war episode is part of the larger phenomenon of Italian designed Art Deco buildings that sprang up in many world locations, most famously in places such as Eritrea or Albania. The building in the photograph above is in my view an Italian architectural design pattern, on the lines of another case about which I wrote here, but of course that needs to be established by researching relevant archive documents. I like the harmony of the design and how the apparently contrasting volumes and different shapes hinge and play each other around the massive staircase tower.

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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 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.

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3 comments on “Bucharest mid-1930s Art Deco Style House

  1. We know the house was definitely built in the 1930s, so the Deco attribution is well deserved. But it is not quite like any other Deco house I have seen. Have you any pictures or references, from Italian houses, that demonstrate this Italian architectural design pattern?

    Have a wonderful 2012!

    • Hello Helen, A Happy 2012 to you first of all! I do apologise for the quite late answer to your enquire! As I mentioned in the post, the Italian “origins” of that building’s design is a supposition of mine, based on extensive observations and research throughout Bucharest in the last few years. Of course that has to be established for sure by looking in archive papers and interviewing people living there. The designer might well be a Romanian architectural bureau, with architects trained in the Italian manner or even graduates of Italian architectural universities. However, the house is quite ample for Bucharest’s standards of that time and elaborate in its design, things which were the appanage of large, established architectural firms, which at that time were usually Italian. The involvement of Italian architects in this region, goes back quite a while, since the 15th or 16th century when they designed fortifications, or in the 17th-18th c. when they designed palaces for the local princes with elements of Venetian villa rustica, in the boom of late c19th, the inter-war period, such is the case with the building detailed in this article, to nowadays when they are very present on the Bucharest and Romanian building scene. I hope my answer satisfies your curiosity in this phenomenon that took place in this corner of Europe. Best regards, Valentin

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