1900s Ploiesti doorway

1900s Ploiesti doorway

I found in one of my occasional trips to Ploiesti last summer, a well preserved house dating from the 1900s in a style halfway between neo-baroque and neoclassical, which was also embellished with a splendid wrought iron doorway that displayed some interesting Art Nouveau motifs. The area endowed with the amplest such design was the upper window of the doorway, presented in the second photograph bellow. It shows a flowing, whiplash shape, flower motif typical of the Art Nouveau decorative panoply. The house is illustrative for the urban architecture of the first decade of the c2oth Romania, when the historicist style buildings also encompassed and often seamlessly integrated fashionable Art Nouveau elements, as is the case with this doorway assembly.

The doorway of a 1900s Ploiesti house (©Valentin Mandache)

Art Nouveau style ironwork decorating the upper window of a 1900s doorway in Ploiesti, southern Romania (©Valentin Mandache)

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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.

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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 Contact page of this weblog.

Round-like profile Art Nouveau doorway

Art Nouveau style doorway, Casa Dinu Lipatti (cca 1900s), Catargiu Blvd, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Presented above is the well proportioned round-like profile Art Nouveau style doorway, crowned by an ample and expressive mascaron in the same style, adorning the Dinu Lipatti house in Bucharest. The building is a mixture of styles, including neo-rococo and even some Neo-Romanian elements, in which the Art Nouveau features predominate. The edifice is an early creation of architect Petre Antonescu, one of the most seminal Romanian architects, known especially for his grand Neo-Romanian style edifices. This particular building shows Antonescu’s versatility in many design genres at an early stage in his career.

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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.

The “classical” Art Nouveau doorway of a 1920s Neo-Romanian style building

The Art Nouveau style doorway of a 1920s Neo-Romanian style house, Cotroceni area, Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

I found the above doorway that displays some “classical” Art Nouveau patterns, especially the oval motif around the door window, in the quite unusual setting of a 1920s Neo-Romanian style house located in the Cotroceni area of Bucharest. My view is that this design contrasting quite markedly with the rest of the building, was not the whim of the initial owner or the architect of the house, but that the door comes from an older building which might have been there before the Neo-Romanian style one took its place or has been the doorway of the owner’s former home from some other part of Bucharest or even another town within or without Romania. That is quite plausible as in the aftermath of the Great War and the break up of the Habsburg, Russian and Ottoman empires, there were many population movements and refugees criss-crossing this part of Europe, many of them bearing with them relics of their former dear homes (lamps, chairs, trunks, etc.), and this doorway might have been one such a treasured memento, used as part of a new home in a new country.

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I endeavor through this daily 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.

Art Nouveau round doorway

Art Nouveau style round frame doorway, 1900s house in Victoria area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

This is a quaint example of Bucharest Art Nouveau style round doorway embellishing a house now heavily altered through a series of renovations undertaken during the last century since the edifice was built. The doorway itself keeps only a fraction from the original ornaments and motifs, such as the Romanian ethnographic woodcarvings of the door poles and the awning inspired from that of the doorways peculiar to the Neo-Romanian architectural style, a national-romantic order initially developed, like other European national styles, as an offshoot of the Art Nouveau current. The glass panes and the gridirons protecting them are 1930s 0r ’40s replacements of the original artefacts. Despite all of these serious interventions, the doorway is still conveying the Art Nouveau ethos of innovative and surprising shapes and design.

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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 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.

Mackintosh Chair Motif on Romanian Provincial Art Nouveau Doorway

Romanian 1900s provincial Art Nouveau doorway, Targoviste (©Valentin Mandache)

Targoviste is the medieval capital of the principality of Wallachia, located some 80km north-west of Bucharest. The meaning of the town’s name in old Romanian language is that of  “market town”, a true reflection of its medieval and early modern economy, until the advent of the oil industry in the inter-war period that changed its character. The city, at the turn between the c19th and the c20th was a picturesque provincial town, very proud of its heritage and legacy as the former capital, somehow like Winchester in England, if I can draw that parallel. The Art Nouveau style has some echoes in the local architecture, elements of which being displayed by a number of houses in the city centre. The doorway above adorns the side entrance of one of those picturesque buildings. What struck me the most in this obvious provincial design was the suggestion there of a Mackintosh chair motif, namely the famous oval topped back of an Argyle chair designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh at the end of c19th. This doorway may date from the 1900s, most probably repaired a few times since then in various degrees of refinement, and it shows the possible diffusion of this motif in a near vernacular form to this quite remote corner of Europe. The doorway may also be a more recent creation in tone with the rest of the Art Nouveau elements embellishing that house. A proper dating of it can of course be confirmed only through archive research.

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

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 Contactpage of this weblog.