Art Deco Block of Flats

Mid- 1930s Art Deco style with modernist overtones block of flats in an un-renovated state (actually it has hardly been touched or mended since the end of WWII) as is the situation with most of the period buildings of Bucharest; Mantuleasa area. (©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.

Neoromanian Style Glazed Balcony

A rare and exquisite example of glazed balcony from an early 1930s Neo-Romanian style house in Cotroceni area, Bucharest (©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.

Unusual Mascaron

Guard dog balcony base mascaron, Bucharest
Unusual type mascaron (guard dogs theme) at the base of a first floor balcony belonging to a house of composite allegorical styles, mid 1930s, Icoanei area, Bucharest (©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.

Romantic Era Coat of Arms

c19th coat of arms, Bucharest
Aristocratic coat of arms that belonged to Costache-Boldur family (info provided by Mr. Gabriel Badea Paun) placed within a Renaissance inspired panoply on the roof above the doorway of the family house, dated sometime in the first half of c19th, Regina Maria area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The modern nation building process in the Romanian lands started in the first half the c19th, a time of intense search for roots in the romantic ancient and medieval past. The Danubian Principalities (Wallachia and Moldavia), the core of future Romania, were for more than five centuries part of the Ottoman realm  and the recovery of a nearly forgotten European identity made that national soul searching even more poignant. Many among the upper classes, the aristocrats and merchants (the principalities did not have any industry at that time), began to proudly display through symbols or in crude western style architecture, in a city which in that period boasted mostly provincial Balkan Ottoman architectural styles, their supposed connections with the old grand families of Europe. Most of these were pure fiction, like the much touted supposed connection of the Romanian aristocracy with the medieval Venetian and Genovese nobility that in c13th and c14th set up trading towns in the area along the Danube and the Black Sea shore. Others were keen to emphasize equally dubious connections with the French or German aristocracy. That interesting period left traces in some of the city’s architectural decorations, especially in the coat of arms proudly displayed on roof panoply moldings placed above the doorways of the aristocratic and merchant houses. The image above shows such an interesting coat of arms from a now ruined house in the Regina Maria area, at that time located on the outskirts of old Bucharest. The finish is very crude and models a Renaissance style panoply, but nevertheless is very picturesque and conveys the atmosphere of a bygone era of incipient national consciousness among the grand families of this region of the Balkans.

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

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.

Art Deco Building Interior Elements

Art Deco is first and foremost a decorative style and only subordinately an architectural one. Its crisp, reduced to essence shapes and motifs are inspired from the era of efficient mechanical production-line industries that emerged after the Great War. The recognisable angular, repetitive patterns and other abstractions characteristic of this style were also adapted for the building interiors, for elements such as tiles, window frames, stair balustrades or lift shafts.

Bucharest has been the setting of one of the most interesting Art Deco developments in visual arts and architecture. That was possible within a prosperous economic environment as the capital of one of the victorious countries after the WWI, massively benefiting from the revenues generated by the country’s large oil exports (Romania in the inter-war period was one of the main oil producers). The city, even today, after five decades of communism and twenty years of chaotic post-communist transition, is still adorned by many Art Deco buildings and ornaments.

I gathered here a few photographs of interior Art Deco elements that speak volumes about that phase in the urban evolution of Bucharest. The first picture shows a remarkable multicoloured floor mosaic made from rounded square cut rocks embellishing a kitchen located in a late 1920s block of flats in Calea Victoriei area.

 

Art Deco floor mosaic
Art Deco kitchen floor mosaic from a late 1920s apartment in Calea Victoriei area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

I very much like the simple, but exquisite mosaic pattern that models a garish rag rug, which was normally used in Continue reading Art Deco Building Interior Elements

Mock Half-Timbered House

1930s mock half timbered house, Bucharest
An interesting rare example for Romania of mock half-timbered house of southern German filiation, with green oak leaf ceramic tile decoration at the base of the half-timber structure and provided with a slate roof. The building dates from mid-late 1930s and is located in Aviatorilor Boulevard area, Bucharest (©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.

Empty Shell of A Historic Building

The interior shell of a historic building, Bucharest
The interior shell of a historic building, Lipscani area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The photograph above was taken last February and, as I write, the building is more advanced in its construction. The developer intends to preserve the outer shell of the historic building, putting up an entire new structure in its interior. The image is, in my opinion, a text book representation of the initial stage of that process. The project represents one of the better facets of the recently passed property development boom in Romania’s capital, one that seeks to preserve certain features of the historic buildings. This example is unfortunately an extremely rare occurrence in a sea of bad taste among developers and a frenzy of destructive development projects and illegal demolition of heritage sites.

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

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.

Unusual Art Nouveau Window

Art Nouveau style window, Bucharest
Art Nouveau style window painting; house in Foisor area, Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

I am uncertain about the date of this unusual painting: it can be a restoration of an original 1900s decoration or the Art Nouveau style creation of a contemporary artist.  The house is a Little Paris building (Romania provincially interpreted French c19th architecture), from a period which corresponds with the flourishing of Art Nouveau in Romania, but the painting looks more in the vein of the Central European variety of this style. It is a quaint colorful spot in a city characterised by a chaotic collection of esoteric architectural and decorative styles.

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

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.

Neo-Romanian Style Townhouse

Neo-Romanian style townhouse, Bucharest
An excellent quality example of an early 1930s Neo-Romanian style townhouse, Principatele Unite area, Bucharest. (©Valentin Mandache)

There is everything present in this house that constitute the hallmarks of the Neo-Romanian style: short Byzantine ornate columns, a citadel like aspect, arched Wallachian monastery like windows, etc. What I especially like is the Neo-Romanian style themed  street fence- the fence posts and wrought iron fence. The whole ensemble models a Romanian squire’s early c19th country mansion, the conac, built in the middle of a large town and represents a true architectural gem and also a superb potential renovation project.

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

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.

Art Deco Black Sea Villa

Art Deco seaside villa, Eforie Nord on the Romanian shore of the Black Sea (Valentin Mandache)
Simple, but balanced crisp Art Deco design of a mid 1930s seaside villa, Eforie Nord on the Romanian shore of the Black Sea. (©Valentin Mandache)

These examples of beautiful inter-war seaside villas were in general well maintained during the communist times as the regime used them for high ranking officials. Unfortunately now, 20 years since the fall of communism, many of these emblematic edifices are lost due to botched renovations or illegal demolitions performed by a new generation of ignorant indigenous owners and entrepreneurs. It will take probably another generation for them to realise the value of the architectural heritage put in place by their much more cultivated and sophisticated forefathers.

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

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.