Art Nouveau balcony

Art Nouveau style balcony, 1900s apartment house, Izvor area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

I am planning an Art Nouveau architecture tour for this Saturday, announcement to follow. I hope that this image of a Bucharest Art Nouveau style balcony would act as a foretaste for that event. The ironwork of the balcony contains abstract representations of flower motifs. Also Art Nouveau are the plaster decorations embellishing the window openings. Unfortunately the attractive over a century old design of this apartment house is diminished by the air conditioning units affixed without any regard for aesthetics, a situation encountered at every step and corner in Bucharest. The air conditioning units are still seen as a high status symbol (as the satellite dishes not long ago) by the local property owners and consequently are “flagged” with impunity even on the best period buildings of this city.

Neo-Romanian balcony veranda assemblies

Bellow are two examples of ample Neo-Romanian style balcony veranda assemblies built one and a half decade apart (the first image, immediately under the text, shows a late 1930s construction, while the one bellow it dates from the first half of the 1920s). They exhibit the evolution of this style from heavy forms, built using traditional materials like compact bricks and masonry (1920s) to somehow slender and airy shapes made possible by the use of reinforce concrete and lighter, modern bricks. The common denominator is the near burdensome, but flamboyant decorative register composed of elements inspired from the late medieval Wallachian church (Brancovan era) ornaments like the Ottoman Islamic arches, short Byzantine columns or the rope motif among many other enchanting details.

Neo-Romanian style balcony veranda assembly, late 1930s house, Cismigiu area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Neo-Romanian style balcony assembly, early 1920s house, Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©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 Contactpage of this weblog.

Superlative Neo-Romanian Style Balcony Assembly

Neo-Romanian style balcony assembly from a late 1920s grand house in the Cismigiu area of Bucharest. (Valentin Mandache)

The Neo-Romanian style balcony assembly, presented in the image above, adorns a newly restored house in this architectural style, which in my opinion is one of most professional such operations undertaken in Bucharest during the last two decades, for any type of historic buildings. The decorative details are most exquisite and lovingly restored, including the balcony door woodwork. The ornamental motifs and outlines represent a textbook of Neo-Romanian architecture, where one can clearly see the main source of inspiration of this order from the late medieval Wallachian church architecture and also Ottoman Balkan motifs. In my view, the main source of inspiration for the designer of this particular house and balcony is probably the architecture of Curtea de Arges cathedral in southern Romania. This is one of the most beautiful basilicas of the entire Eastern Church world, a flamboyant gathering of motifs found between the c14th and the c17th throughout the vast former Ottoman Empire, the polity to which the Romanian lands belonged for over four centuries. The patterns present there can be traced back in old Georgia, Armenia, Anatolia and even Persia (see in that regard the coronal adornment of the balcony assembly, which looks as taken from the decorative panoply of a Persian mosque or the double arch of the window opening, again an Oriental motif, etc).

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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.

Tulip Theme Art Deco Balcony

An airy and well proportioned rectangular floral theme (tulips) Art Deco style balcony adorning a mid-1930s house in Cotroceni area, Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

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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.

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

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.

Quintessential Neo-Romanian Style Balcony

A beautiful Neo-Romanian style balcony of a well proportioned design featuring a decorative panel with the peacocks in the Garden of Eden motif and two massive fence posts crowned by exquisite flower pots modelled after Byzantine church candle holders. The balcony adorns a late 1920s house in Traian area of Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

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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.

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

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.

Florid Motif Art Deco Balcony

Florid motifs Art Deco style balcony, dating from mid-1930s, Gara de Nord area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The exuberant florid motifs presented in the photograph above also dress the window and doorway openings of the Art Deco style house containing this interesting balcony. In addition to that, the floral decoration unfurls as a large, eye catching, frieze under the roof eaves. The overall effect is a very cheerful, exotic  appearance, where the main façade focus area is this balcony with its design that balances essential Art Deco – modernist outlines with rich florid decoration. It is a great pity that the current owner has replaced its original Art Deco balcony door with an ugly plastic frame double glazing structure. That shows the degree of ignorance and low quality cultural education among many of the Bucharest period house owners about the historical and architectural value of their property and the slow and inexorable damage suffered by the built heritage of Romania at the hand of its own, misguided, citizens.

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

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.

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

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.

Daily Picture 24-Oct-09: Neo-Romanian Balcony with Art Nouveau Motifs

Neo-Romanian style balcony, Rosetti area, Bucharest(©Valentin Mandache)

Neo-Romanian style balcony, with interesting Art Nouveau decorative elements inspired from medieval Wallachian church architecture (the voluminous undulating band above the arch, wrought iron flower pot supports wrapping around the balcony, spiral columns, etc.) House in Rosetti area, Bucharest. Building could date from mid 1910s or first years immediately after the Great War (©Valentin Mandache)

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

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

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

If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating 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.