CRITICAL REVIEW


    Son of Dumitru Berindey, architect, (1831-1884), Ion D. Berindey (1871-1928) studied architecture at the School of Fine Arts in Paris, which he graduated in 1897. Back in Romania, Ion D. Berindey opened his own architectural office in a pioneering era of Romanian architecture. Of all his creations that cover over three decades (1898-1928), his best known buildings are: Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino Palace (now George Enescu Museum), located on Calea Victoriei, George G. Assan House (now Casa Oamenilor de Stiinta) in Lahovary Square, Journalists' Union (now Teatrul Foarte Mic), Vasile Urseanu House and Observatory, Toma Stelian House in Bucharest, Cantacuzino Palace from Floresti, the Hippodrome in Baneasa, and the Palace of Culture in Iași.
    Ion D. Berindey is one of the most prolific and appreciated Romanian architects of the first three decades of the 20th century, better known for the numerous luxurious houses built for the political elite of the time, and for the Administrative Palace in Iasi. However, his work encompassed a wide array, approaching various types of architectural programs in his 30-year career: housing, astronomical observatory, club, bank headquarters, administrative buildings, hippodrome, auditorium, rental property, home for disabled, nursery, museum, church, factory, funerary works, pavilions for the Exhibition of 1906, cattle ranch, school, garages and stables, to which we can add his work in urban planning, in Bucharest and Craiova.
    Of his over 60 works, 29 are historical monuments, which proves that the architecture he created continues to be appreciated today, occupying a prominent place in the history of modern architecture in Romania. Among the buildings signed by Berindey, 6 monuments belong to category A, while the Cantacuzino Palace in Bucharest is included in the European Heritage List, as well. 
    The creation of the architect Ion D. Berindey combines Beaux-Arts eclectic elements, Romanticism, neo rococo and neo-Romanian tendencies with 1900 modern concepts, both in the overall composition and in decoration choices, which are richly represented (Sidonia Teodorescu, 2015).
 


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    BIOGRAPHY


    (Bucharest, June 28 /July 12, 1871 - Eforie Sud, August 29, 1928)

    Academic/specialized studies:
    ? - 1887 - School of Bridges and Roads, Bucharest (given up in order to go to Paris); 
    1891-1897 - Fine Arts School / École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, tutors: Pierre Jérôme Honoré Daumet, Charles Girault, Pierre Joseph Esquié. After finishing cycle I (2nd grade: February 1891 - March 1894) and Cycle II (1st grade: March 1894 - December 1897), he earns a degree in architecture, following an official examination in December 1897, and then he returns home.

    Teaching (disciples and influences):
    September 1900 - June 1906 - he was an honorary professor of architectural projects and professor at the School of Architecture; 
    1904 - The Ministry of Education (which was then called the Ministry of Cultural Instruction) asks him, and some of his colleagues, to develop a permanent program for the School of Architecture.
     
    Professional Activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees):
    June 1899-1901 - George Grigore Cantacuzino (the Nabob) - then Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs - appointed Ion D. Berindey chief architect of the Technical Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs;
    1900 - He was vice president of the Society of Architects in Bucharest, but he resigned from his position in the same year because of the large volume of work. Then he was reappointed vice president, as follows: from December 14, 1900 to January 11, 1905, and from March 22, 1916 to January 23, 1919;
    January 23, 1919 - February 23, 1926 - he is a member of the Society of Architects in Bucharest; 
    ? - Member of the Permanent Council of the Ministry of Education, and member of the Higher Technical Council of the Ministry of Public Works;
    August 1, 1905 - The Commissioner General of the Romanian General Exhibition of 1906, Dr. Constantin Istrati, appointed architect Ion D. Berindey Inspector General of the works in Campul Filaretului;
    May 11, 1914 - he was given a diploma for active membership in the Romanian Geographical Society, founded on June 15, 1875;
    1916-1918 - Ion D. Berindey was inspector general of the Red Cross and the vicepresident in the Interim Commission of the Capital;
    1918 - He elaborated a bill to defend the profession of architect;
    1925 - A group of professionals founded the Society of Diplomat Architects in Romania, whose elected president was Ion D. Berindey;
    ? - He was a member of the Romanian Society of Literature and Art;
    ? - He was deputy of Teleorman;
    1928 - Member of the Special Committee for the implementation of the regulation of construction and alignment.
     


    PROJECTS


    Completed Projects
    Urban design and landscaping:
    1904-1906 - Project for the General Plan of Bucharest - not materialized; 
    1914 - Alignment and systematization plan of Craiova, with Eng. M. Colleanu.
     
    Architectural projects:
    Houses in Bucharest
    1898 - ”General Eraclie Arion” House, 15 Blvd. Lascar Catargiu, Bucharest;
    1900 - ”Grigore P. Olanescu” House, 51 Blvd. Lascar Catargiu (demolished);
    1901-1902 -  Villa ”Vasile Ganescu”, 9 Soseaua Kiseleff;
    1902 - Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino Palace (pre-project - June-November 1901, the building permit - June 12, 1902, inaugurated with great fanfare - January 29, 1906);
    1903 - The house of the diplomat ”Alexandru G. Florescu”, 22 Henri Coanda Street;
    1904 - The house of the industrialist ”George G. Assan”, 9 Lahovary Square (now Casa Oamenilor de Stiinta);
    1905 - ”George Solacolu” House, 8 Visarion Street, intersecting Blvd. Lascar Catargiu (derelict building since 2001, now a ruin);
    1905 - ”Daniel Patrulius” House, 43 Daniel Patrulius Street, Bucharest;
    1906 - ”Ion Kalinderu” Museum and House, 2-4 Vasile Sion Street, Bucharest; (until a few years ago, the headquarters of "Nicolae Grigorescu" Institute of Fine Arts );
    1907 - ”Dumitru T. Apostol” House, 10 Christian Tell Street (today, the Branch for Children and Youth of  "Ion Creanga" Metropolitan Library Bucharest);
    1908-1909 - Admiral Vasile Urseanu House, 21 Blvd. Lascar Catargiu, Bucharest (today Astronomical Observatory and Museum of Experimental Sciences );
    1909 - ”Eliza Zanescu” House, 6 Emil Balaban Street, Bucharest;
    1909 - ”Dr. Ioan E. Costinescu” House, 31 Thomas Masaryk Street, Bucharest;
    1911 - ”Nicolae Titulescu” House, 47 Soseaua Kiseleff, Bucharest (today, Nicolae Titulescu Foundation);
    1911 - Villa „Maria Ioanidi” (in Ioanid parceling), 79 Blvd. Dacia, Bucharest;
    1911 - ”Ion si Irina Procopiu” House (in Ioanid parceling), 5 Dumbrava Rosie Street, Bucharest;
    1911-1914 - ”Emanuel si Catherina Kretzulescu” House and Garage, Bucharest (the design of the house had probably been initiated in 1904);
    1911-1914 - ”Ana and Alexandru Tartasescu” House (in Ioanid parceling), 9 Dumbrava Rosie Street, Bucharest;
    1911-1914 - ”Colonel C. A. Tanasescu” House (in Ioanid parceling), 11 Dumbrava Rosie Street, Bucharest;
    1912 - ”Sever I. Pleniceanu” House, 20 Jean-Louis Calderon Street, Bucuresti;
    1912 - ”Colonel Alexandru Zamfirescu” House, 22 Ion Slătineanu Street, Bucharest;
    1912 - ”Ana Berindey” House, 26A Maria Rosetti Street, intersecting Donici Street, Bucharest;
    1912 - ”Toma Stelian” House, 10 Soseaua Kiseleff, Bucharest. Since 1926, after Toma Stelian’s death, the house functioned as an art museum until 1948, when the museum was closed by the communist regime. Today the house is the headquarters of the Social Democratic Party. The sculptor chosen to decorate the interior of Toma Stelian’s lavish residence was Wilhelm Dietz;
    1912-1913 - ”Engineer Nicolae Poenaru-Iatan” House, 2 Polona Street, Bucharest;
    1913 - The house of the politician Emil Costinescu, 4 Polona Street. Until recently, the building was the headquarters of the Embassy of Japan, and today it hosts a private kindergarten. It is part of Ioanid allotment, through whose regulation the municipality recommended a national style and garden arrangements;
    1913 - ”Ion Camarasescu” House, 39 Blvd. Lascar Catargiu, intersecting Gina Patrichi Street, Bucharest (Today, the Embassy of Iran in Romania);
    1913 - ”Hugo Staadecker” House, 4 Dumbrava Rosie Street (Ioanid parceling), Bucharest;
    1913 - ”Grigore N. Filipescu” House, 40 Nicolae Filipescu Street, Bucharest;
    1914 - The house of actress Marioara Voiculescu, 14 Spiru Haret Street, Bucharest;
    1914 - ”Gheorghe Stoicescu” House, 82 Jean-Louis Calderon Street, Bucharest;
    1914 - ”Maria and Ion Sterian” Rental Property, 9 Pache Protopopescu Square, Bucharest;
    1915 - Margot and Aurel Orascu Rental Property, 9 Franceza Street. Until 2008, the building housed Casandra Theatre Studio;
    1922 - Ilie Sabareanu - Constantin Leonida linked houses, 81 Blvd. Dacia (in Ioanid parceling), Bucharest;
    1923 - ”Ana Berindey” House, 14 Roma Street, Bucharest;
    1927 - ”Maria Filotti” Memorial House, 12 Vasile Parvan Street, Bucharest;
    ? - Stefanescu House, 55 Blvd. Lascar Catargiu, Bucharest (demolished);
    ? - Iarca House, 23 Ion Calin Street, Bucharest;
    ? - ”Ion D. Berindey” House, 7 Paris Street, Bucharest;
    ? - Zanescu House, 32 Nicolae Filipescu Street, Bucharest.

    Houses in the Country:
    1903-1907 - ”Nicolae Romanescu” House, 57 Unirii Street, Craiova (now Casa Universitarilor);
    1905 - The house of brothers Armenac and Kevork Manissalian, Constanta (bombed in 1941 and demolished);
    1906-1907 - Grecianu Mansion, Cioceni, Prahova county;
    1907 - The mansion of banker N. N. Popp, Padea village, Dolj county;
    1908 - ”Alexandru and Gabriela Poenaru” House, 10 Eugeniu Carada Street, Craiova;
    1911 - Cantacuzino Palace in Floresti, Prahova county.

    Public Buildings 
    1902 - St. Catherine Nursery and its chapel (1901); today, the Center for Prevention and Anti-Drug Counseling of District 1, 17 Blvd. Maresal Averescu, Bucharest ( in neo-Romanian style);
    1902-1915 - Queen Elisabeta Asylum, 9 Manastirea Caldarusani Street, Bucharest. Since 1952, the asylum building accommodates the National Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics "Ana Aslan". Built as a pavilion, with a neo-Romanian style architecture, the asylum is the second public building in Berindey ‘s creation which was supposed to approach a kind of architectural program yet unexplored by Roamanian architects;
    1905 - the Hippodrome in Baneasa, designed in a similar way to those in Longchamp and Chantilly (demolished);
    1905-1906 - The Pavilion of the European Commission of the Danube River and the Pavilion of Staadecker House at the Romanian General Exhibition of 1906, Bucharest;
    1906-1925 - Palace of Culture in Iasi (named at the time the Administrative Palace of Justice and the Post), Ion D. Berindey’s most representative public work; built on the foundations of the former princely courts, in Gothic style;
    1908 - The church in Mirosi, Mirosi village, Mirosi commune, Arges county (previously Teleorman). The contractor of the church was Thoma Kantzler, and the painting in the church was signed by Costin Petrescu and it was done between 1908-1909;
    1909 - Corpul Avocatilor, 5 Splaiul Independentei, Bucharest (annex of the Palace of Justice);
    1912-1921 - Journalists’ Trade Union Palace (today, Teatrul Foarte Mic), 21 Blvd. Carol I, intersecting Jean-Louis Calderon Street, Bucharest.

    Tombstones: 
    1906 - "Colonel Petre Macca" tomb, Pasarea Monastery, Branesti; 
    1906-1907 - "Toma Stelian" family chapel, Bellu cemetery, Bucharest; 
    1908-1909 - "Constantin Poroineanu" family tomb, Bellu cemetery, Figure 19, Bucharest; 
    1911 - Cronberg tomb;
    1924 - "Toma Stelian" mausoleum, Bellu cemetery, section IV, figure 80, Bucharest (in collaboration with Florentine sculptor Raffaello Romanelli).

    Restoration Works:
    1903-1907 - The house of the politician "Nicolae Romanescu", 57 Unirii Street, Craiova (now Casa Universitarilor). The building has undergone several stages of construction, decoration and restoration. It is a representative 19th century edifice in Craiova; the final change in its construction was carried out in 1903 by architect Ion D. Berindey and entrepreneur C. Roschovsky. The restoration undertaken between 1997-2001 recovered its initial appearance.

    Interior work: 
    He designs the furniture of rustic inspiration in the church of Miroși. For many residences, he also designed the furniture (Cantacuzino Palace, Assan House, Toma Stelian House, Kalinderu Museum, etc.).
     
    Competitions:
    1906 - He participated in the competition for the Peace Palace in The Hague, organized by the Carnegie Foundation.
     
    Editorial Activity:
    1906 - He was a member of the first committee of Architecture. Romanian art magazine, along with Toma Dobrescu, Alexander Samurcas Stefan Burcus, Nicolae Ghika-Budesti, Victor Stephanescu, Victor Simionescu, Remus Iliescu, and George Sterian as editor in chief. In the first issue, published on January 4, 1906, Berindey penned a note to readers. In its opening he highlighted the importance of the profession of architect, urging his peers to come together and show respect toward their profession.
     
    Awards and Distinctions: 
    January 1908 - He was appointed Officer of the Franz Joseph Order by  the Austrian Emperor;
    November 4, 1925 - He received the patent and insignia of Commander of the Order of the "Star of Romania".
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY


    Books:
    Radulescu, Mihai Sorin, Genealogii, Editura Albatros, Bucuresti, 1999.
    Teodorescu, Sidonia, Mari arhitecti bucuresteni: Ion D. Berindey, Editura Vremea, 2014.


    Periodicals:
    „Ilustratia”, anul XIV (septembrie - decembrie 1925), nr. 115-118, p. 185.
    „Flacara”, anul XXII, nr. 919, 13 ianuarie 1973, p. 23.