Daily Picture 3-Oct-09: Inter-War International Modernist Apartment Block

Bucharest international modernist inter-war appartment block, Cismigiu area (Valentin Mandache)

Bucharest international modernist inter-war apartment block, Cismigiu area (©Valentin Mandache)

It is less known that in the inter-war period Bucharest was at the vanguard of European modernist artistic movements, a fact which only recently has started to be seriously unearthed by western scholars. Notable is the surrealist Dada movement in literature and painting that has its origins among the Jewish Bucharest intellectuals and their milieu in Romania’s capital or the remarkable architectural international modernist style experiments and creations that still embelish large areas of the city. The photograph above presents one of those beautiful products of that era: an excellently designed late 1930s apartment block in the Cismigiu area of Bucharest. I found very appealing its airy, delicate design and how the different facets of the building take advantage of all the available light, providing it in generous amounts to each separate apartment. Also the top floor apartments have circular light wells in the balcony ceiling, an innovation which makes this edifice even more remarkable for its pioneering times. I have to confess that I have not yet seen such an imaginative and resourceful design among the contemporary post-communist Romanian architects with their mostly characterless, usually poorly desinged bombastic creations that litter now Bucharest as the result of the recent property development boom.

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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.