CRITICAL REVIEW

    
    
Louis Pierre Blanc was born in 1860, in Geneva. After attending the secondary school and highschool in Geneva, in 1877 he enrolled in the Polytechnic Institute in Zurich, where he studied for the next two years. However, the studies that would define his career as an architect are those undertaken at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, between 1880-1883, under the guidance Ginain and Laisné, who were his teachers. It is here that he met his good friend and colleague Ion Mincu, whose recommendation prompted him to come to Romania immediately after earning his degree in architecture, in 1883.
      He is known for the many public and private buildings he designed, most in the French academic style, with neoclassical influences. He was employed by the Office of "New Constructions" within the Ministry of Culture and Public Education, from 1887 to 1888, and subsequently he was hired as an architect by the same Minister for designing the future plans of the Botanical Institute in Cotroceni. Besides this first large-scale public project, he designed the projects of other large institutions in Bucharest, such as the University of Medicine, Ministry of Agriculture and Bacteriological Institute, as well as the University in Iași. He also designed a considerable number of private houses, responding to the needs of stakeholders in the higher social classes. He was married twice, first to Elena Suțu, who died in 1890, and later to Irina Berindei. Many of the private housing orders were based on family ties created through his two marriages, both to prominent figures in Romania’s high society of the time. Among his unfinished projects, two are worth mentioning: the Central Station and Bucharest City Hall. (Florentina Matache, 2015)
 


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    BIOGRAPHY


    (Geneva, 31st December 1860 - Bucharest, 26th April/ 9 May1903)

    Academic/specialized studies:
    1877-1879 - Polytechnic Institute of Zurich, Switzerland;
    1880-1883 - École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France.

    Professional Activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees):
    1887-1888 - Architect for the Office of "New Constructions", Ministry of Culture and Public Education;
    1895 - Member of the Commission for the program of works to be executed at Lacul Sărat health resort, Brăila County (with Eng. V. I. Istrati, doctor Bastaky).
     


    PROJECTS


    Completed Projects
    Urban design and landscaping:
    Parceling: Bonaparte Road, Dudeşti, Comarnic-Isvor, Baneasa.

    Architectural projects:
    1888 - Extension of Baleanu Building, 27 Soarelui Street (currently Theodor Aman Street), Bucharest;
    1888-1889 - Botanical Institute, Botanical Garden, Bucharest; 
    1888 (1888-1890) - "Nicolae Filipescu" House, 13 Batistei Street, Bucharest; 
    1888 -  ”Louis Blanc - Elena Sutu” House, Polona Street (G. C. Cantacuzino Square), Bucharest;
    1888-1889 - ”Louis Blanc - Aloys Brémond” Building, 124 Calea Victoriei, Bucharest (now extinct);
    1889-1890 - ”Ion Lahovary” House, 39 Calea Dorobanti, Bucharest;
    1890 - ”Elena Gheorghe Adrian” House, 2 Povernei Street, intersecting Vasile Alecsandri Street, Bucharest (now extinct);
    1890-1895 - Cernavoda Bridge (collaborating with Anghel Saligny, eng., and G. Bals);
    1891 - ”Mauriciu Blank” House, Tudor Arghezi Street, intersecting Blanduziei Street, Bucharest;
    1892-1893 - ”Louis Blanc” House, 22 Tudor Arghezi Street, Bucharest;
    1893-1897 - University of Iasi, Iasi;
    1893-1903 - University of Medicine, 8 Eroii Sanitari Blvd, Bucharest;
    1894-1897 - Ministry of Agriculture, 2-4 Carol Blvd, Bucharest;
    1895 - Schewitz-Thierrin Institute, 51 Ulita Scaune, Bucharest (now extinct);
    1897-1899 - Bacteriological Institute, 99-101 Splaiul Independentei, Bucharest;
    1899-1900 - ”Hermann Spayer” House, 24 Batistei Street, Bucharest;
    ? - Extension of ”Tache Ionescu” House, 25 Tache Ionescu Street, Bucharest;
    ? - Villas in Sinaia.

    Unfinished Projects:
    1891 - Extension of the School of Bridges and Roads, Bucharest;
    1893 - Central Station, Bucharest (with Alexandre Louis Auguste Maurice Marcel);
    1895 - City Hall, Bucharest;
    ? - Brancovenesc Hospital;
    ? - National Museum.

    Restoration projects
    1897 - Tache Ionescu House (restoration and extension of an older house)
    ? - interiors

    Competitions, Exhibitions and Shows:
    1881 - Competition for Labarre Award, with a project for the  Palace of Commerce (1st medal);
    1893 - Competition for Central Station, Bucharest (with Alexandre Louis Auguste Maurice Marcel; 1st prize);
    1895 - Competition for Bucharest City Hall;
    1897 - Participation in French artists’ Salon - projects for the University of Iasi and Central Station, Bucharest (2nd medal).

    Awards and Distinctions:
    1881 - 1st Medal for Labarre Award;
    1897 - 2nd Medal French artists’ Salon, participating with projects for the University of Iasi and Central Station, Bucharest;
    ? - Officer of the Order "Crown of Romania".
    ? - Decorated with the Romanian Star Order
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY


    Books:
    CONSTANTIN, Paul, Dictionar universal al arhitectilor, Bucharest, Editura Stiintifica si Enciclopedica, 1986.
    MARINACHE, Oana, GACHE, Cristian, Louis Pierre Blanc... o plansetă elvetiana in serviciul Romaniei, Bucharest, Editura Istoria Artei, 2014.
    MARINACHE, Oana, Brosura Traseu urban Bucuresti. Arhitect Louis Pierre Blanc, Bucharest, Editura Istoria Artei, 2013.
    MARINACHE, Oana, GACHE, Cristian, Louis Pierre Blanc, o planseta elvetiana in serviciul Romaniei, Ed. Istoria Artei, 2014
    MUCENIC, Cezara, Bucuresti, Un veac de arhitectura civila, Secolul al XIX-lea, Bucharest, Editura Silex, 1997.
    PENANRUN, David de, ROUX et DELAIRE, 1793-1907 Les Architectes Élèves de l'École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, Librairie de la Construction Moderne, 1907.
    SOCOLESCU, Toma T., Fresca arhitectilor care au lucrat in Romania in epoca moderna: 1800-1925, Bucharest, Caligraf Design, 2004.