Art Nouveau ironwork ornaments

This is quite an extensive example, for Bucharest, of Art Nouveau ironwork, in a city where the Art Nouveau details are frequently of  modest dimensions and usually part of larger structures expressed mainly in Little Paris or Beaux Arts styles. The building in this instance, located in the Dorobanti area, displays a series of other Art Nouveau features, such as on its main doorway (not visible here), window opening decorations or columns. However, the ironwork is the most remarkable among them and of a good quality design, pleasing to the eye. The entrance awning rests on two “free flowing” long leaf motif corbels, while the attractive stairs balustrade displays abstract motifs recycled from traditional Japanese drawings, a main source of inspiration for this style. As everywhere in Bucharest, there are aggressive renovations and modern “improvements”, like the white plastic frame double glazing and the air conditioning unit, which obliterated original architectural elements, damaging the visual value of this building.

Art Nouveau ironwork ornaments, 1900s house, Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Art Nouveau ironwork ornaments, 1900s, house, Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Art Nouveau ironwork ornaments, 1900s house, Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Art Nouveau ironwork ornaments, 1900s house, Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Dorobanti area: images from last Sunday’s architectural history & photo tour

Architectural history and photo tour, Dorobanti area, Bucharest, 31 July '11 (©Valentin Mandache)

We had a delightful tour last Sunday, with participants coming from places as far apart as Belgium, US, Poland and of course locals. Dorobanti is one of the best represented areas of Bucharest in terms of quality historic architecture in a relatively good state of preservation. Many of its buildings have unfortunately been affected by the coarse and rapacious property development boom of the last decade, which destroyed or defaced many of its architectural jewels, but nevertheless there are still plenty around examples to admire. The quarter was mostly developed in the inter-war period, with a clear intention to host many of the foreign embassies in its sumptuous edifices that sprang up throughout the area. Therefore the architecture in general, not only that of the edifices occupied by the diplomatic missions, but also of many local residencies is just resplendent. The styles range from magnificent Neo-Romanian to well proportioned Art Deco or exquisite hybrids between the two. There are also some Little Paris style houses from the La Belle Époque period, when Dorobanti was much less developed, with a more bucolic character. Some of the most remarkable sights were houses designed by the great architect Marcel Iancu, in his hallmark International Modernist style, where one can discern the influence of Le Corbusier. I am confident that the tour was very fulfilling for the participants, who had thus an excellent opportunity to examine in situ a wide range of quality historic architecture and listen to professional explanations, giving them a good understanding of the architectural subtleties and sophistication of this prestigious stretch of Romania’s capital. :)

Architectural history and photography tour in Dorobanti area of Bucharest, 31 July '11 (Photo: arch Daniela Puia)

Architectural history and photography tour in Dorobanti area of Bucharest, 31 July '11 (Photo: arch Daniela Puia)

Architectural history and photography tour in Dorobanti area of Bucharest, 31 July '11 (Photo: arch Daniela Puia)

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!!! The next Sunday (7 August ’11, 9am-12.00) architectural history and photography tour will take place in Mosilor historic quarter, north-west-central Bucharest (see a map at this link); meeting point: in front of the Armenian church gates - 43, Carol I Boulevard. I look forward to seeing you there !!!

Valentin Mandache, expert in Romania’s historic houses

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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.

Art Deco glowing Suns street fence

Art Deco glowing Suns fence, mid 1930s house, Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Inverted colour photograph: Art Deco glowing Suns fence, mid 1930s house, Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

My impression is that the repetitive motifs making up this wonderful Art Deco style street fence represent glowing suns rising from among rolling hills. They may well represent something else, a floral motif for example. I liked the idea of glowing suns because it conveyed such a comforting feeling in contrast with the snow and ice dominating the landscape and the inexorable decay faced by most of the period houses of Bucharest. The inverted colour photograph presented here emphasizes, in my opinion, even more the graciousness and harmonious proportions of this street fence design from the Art Deco era that unfurled in this corner of the Balkans.

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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.

Identical Neo-Romanian style houses in Bucharest city square

Recently I visited an interesting Bucharest square with identical model houses mirroring each other across the sides of that square, presented in the video above. This location was brought to my attention some time ago by Mr. Romulus Bena, a regular reader and commenter (on the Facebook page) of my articles. The architecture is Neo-Romanian with some Art Deco echoes. This set up is a rare occurrence in the inter-war Romanian urban planning. A few months ago I wrote about another similar urban set up from Campulung-Arges in southern Romania, click here for access. Bellow is an aerial view with the Bucharest city square documented in the video.

Neo-Romanian style houses in Brazil Street square, Bucharest; aerial view.

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

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.