Architectural tour after working hours: Art Deco and Modernist Bucharest – Thursday 21 August

Dear readers,

I would like to invite you this Thursday 21 August ’14, to a thematic walking tour, scheduled to take place after the working hours, between 18.00h – 20.00h, on the subject of the Art Deco and inter-war Modernist architectural designs of Bucharest. The tour may be of interest to any of you visiting the city as a tourist or on business looking to find out more about its fascinating historic architecture and identity.

The Art Deco style, peculiar to the “roaring ’20s” and the 1930s was the first truly global architecture, embraced with gusto by the Bucharest people and the rest of Romania. The city became in those years a veritable Art Deco architectural regional “power“, embellished with high quality edifices in this style, many of which are still around, for us to admire and investigate, despite the terrible historical upheavals of the last eight decades in this part of Europe. A favorite Art Deco theme in Bucharest was that of the ocean liner, reflecting the longing of inter-war locals to travel to exotic places in the southern seas, far away from the local Siberia-like winters. The inter-war Modernist style and syntheses between Art Deco and Modernism are also well represented in Bucharest, with creations signed by talented architects such as Horia Creanga or Duiliu Marcu. That great multitude of buildings were developed on a solid economic background when Romania was one of the main oil exporters of the world and also an important agricultural producer. The present tour endeavours to locate and explain some of the representative edifices in the Art Deco style  in central Bucharest and give you a well referenced overall image about how these designs impacted the identity of this city and Romania in general.

Book by emailing v.mandache@gmail.com or using the comments section of this post. You will be informed of meeting place on booking.

I look forward to seeing you at the tour,

Valentin Mandache, expert in Romania’s historic houses (tel: 0040 (0)728323272)

Art Deco Bucharest – architectural tour

Historic Houses of Romania architectural tour: Art Deco Bucharest

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

I endeavour through this series of periodic 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 or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

Architectural tour chronicle (28.08.11): Calea Calarasi area, Bucharest

Architectural history tour chronicle: Calea Calarasi area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The last Sunday’s architectural and photography waking tour took place in Calea Calarasi area of Bucharest, an off the beaten track part of the old city. The light was brilliantly clear, although quite intense, typical for end of summer conditions at this latitude, favourable for observing the otherwise hardly visible small architectural details embellishing the many picturesque houses encountered at every step. The participants had the opportunity to closely examine a balanced mix of Little Paris style houses, craftsman Neo-Romanian buildings and small, but svelte Art Deco dwellings. Apart from those types, we were also able to view two old houses from the Ottoman era displaying forms and motifs encountered from the Balkans to Anatolia. The tour had two highlights: the “discovery” of the magnificent Art Deco edifice of the “Ludovic” shoe factory (one of its superb decorative panels being presented in the photomontage and slideshow here) and the viewing of “Hala Traian” (the “Trajan” Market Hall). I could not find any information about the “Ludovic” factory, which seems to have been a well provided industrial establishment of the inter-war period. Its building is still quite well preserved and a restoration can easily bring the construction to its former architectural Art Deco glory. The “Trajan” market hall is a jewel of Victorian structural engineering, built in 1896 after a design by the Italian architect Giulio Magni, one of the then city hall chief architects. We were able to go inside, which is now occupied by a supermarket, and admire the outstandingly beautiful slender cast iron columns and the impressive ironwork ceiling. The tour ended back at the Ionic order Greek church building, where the congregation invited us to sample same tasty cakes brought for a special religious celebration. I trust that the participants had thus a wonderful cultural Sunday out! :)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

I endeavour through this series of periodic 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 or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

Historic Houses of Romania – marking the first 10 Sunday architectural tours

I would like to share with you, dear readers, my joy of concluding last week end of the first 10 Sunday architectural history and photography tours/ walks in diverse areas of old Bucharest. I started running this type of cultural excursion on 5 June ’11 and have been very pleased since to welcome so many participants with diverse backgrounds, ages, natives or from all corners of the world. I trust that my explanations were well received and the tours were a good educational endeavour in matters of Romanian architectural history seen not as an isolated phenomenon, but in a wider international and multidisciplinary context. That type of approach is badly needed in Bucharest and Romania in general, where is an acute deficiency of quality publications and properly qualified professionals in the field of period architecture treated in its complex multifaceted aspects. I hope that in time these tours, together with my blog articles and other projects that I have in store, would bear fruit through an increased public awareness about the beauty of Bucharest’s and Romania’s architectural heritage, its huge importance for the identity of the local communities, conservation and quality tourism.

Bellow are a series of photo-collages amassing together the images published in the blog articles that chronicled each of the tours (a complete list and links to those articles in mentioned under the first photomontage).

Photographs taken during each of the first 10 architectural tours - Historic Houses of Romania (©Valentin Mandache)

List of blog articles chronicling the first 10 Historic Houses of Romania architectural history and photography Sunday tours:

  1. From yesterday’s architectural photography tour of Cotroceni historic quarter, Bucharest
  2. Images from last Sunday’s architectural photo-tour in Mantuleasa historic quarter, Bucharest
  3. Images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photography tour in Carol Park area
  4. Images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photography tour: Cismigiu area
  5. Fire Watchtower area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour
  6. Kiseleff area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour
  7. Patriarchy Hill area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour
  8. Gara de Nord area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour
  9. Dorobanti area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour
  10. Mosilor area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour

Generic images: The first 10 architectural tours - Historic Houses of Romania (©Valentin Mandache)

The photomontage above is composed from generic images, representative of each area visited during the tours, which initiated each tour announcement article on the blog.

Tour participants and guide: the first 10 architectural tours - Historic Houses of Romania (photos by Romulus Bena, Dana Cernat, arch. Daniela Puia, Ioana Novac and Valentin Mandache)

The above montage of photographs is composed from snaps taken in the course of the architectural tours depicting participants and guide in diverse locations throughout old Bucharest, which I believe reflects the ethos of those excursions, their intellectual purpose, value and general nice atmosphere.

Map of Bucharest: location of the first 10 architectural tours - Historic Houses of Romania

The map shows the areas covered by the first 10 Sunday architectural tours. There are envisaged another 10 such destinations throughout the old Bucharest (tomorrow is scheduled the 11th such tour, for details, click here), repeats of the popular ones and also tours in relevant locations outside Bucharest! You are of course invited to participate! :)

Valentin Mandache, expert in Romania’s historic houses

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

I endeavour through this series of periodic 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 or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.