Daily Picture 1-Oct-09: Abstractised Neo-Romanian Style Decoration

Abstractised Neo-Romanian style lines (Valentin Mandache)

Crisp, beautiful abstractised Neo-Romanian style lines, late 1930s - early '40s, of a house in Kiseleff area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The Neo-Romanian style, which is usually a heavy, highly decorated architectural order, evolved in late 1930s and early ’40s toward beautifully abstractised, ‘boiled down’ lines under the influence of the modernist and earlier Art Deco movements. The above image, from the upmarket area of Kiseleff Causeway in Bucharest, is an excellent example of that abstractisation trend. It can constitute a good model for today architects who would be tempted to design again Neo-Romanian style houses. Sadly, that will not happen any time soon on a notable scale, as most of the Romanian architects are trained as engineers, with poor history knowledge, and not as artists. Their patrons, as people who emerged from the low quality communist and post-communist education system, also do not have yet the necessary cultural baggage to understand historic architectural orders, their horizon being limited to poor imitations of contemporary western architecture that now litters Bucharest as the result of the chaotic property development boom of the last few years. The old skills of the Neo-Romanian style inter-war architect masters are now lost, with a few notable exceptions, and it will take a generation at least to recover those ideas and highly refined skills that made the Neo-Romanian style such a beautiful and unique architectural order.

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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.

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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 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.