Daily Picture 13-Nov-09: Art Nouveau Echoes in Late Neo-Romanian Architecture


Neo-Romanian style house with a powerful Art Nouveau decorative register, built in mid 1930s, Cotroceni area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The Neo-Romanian style with its ornate and heavy, Byzantine inspired structure, has reached a dead end in terms of expression by the early 1930s when new building materials and technology were widely available in Romania that make possible the design of slender and tall buildings. That was the technological and innovative background on which the Art Deco and Modernist styles developed in that period. The Neo-Romanian style reached thus a sort of hubris in the 1930s, expressed in often clumsy attempts to recycle motifs from both old Art Nouveau decorative register originating in its late c19th beginnings and experimentation with Art Deco and even Modernist shapes and decorations. The image above represents one of the best examples of that period of searches and anguish in which the Art Nouveau motifs and shapes, like for example the central tower window decorations or the semicircular eye-like shape of its attic windows, are well balanced and powerfully put forward. However, one can not escape the sensation of anachronistic fairy tale atmosphere generated by this style in the 1930s, an age or roaring technological innovation and futuristic experimentations.


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.

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