CRITICAL REVIEW


    Romanian architect trained at the famous School of Fine Arts in Paris.
    His most successful work is the Stock Exchange and the Chamber of Commerce building, a jewel of the early 20th century in the architecture of "Little Paris", designed in the French academic style. Both the composition and decorative facades prove that we are dealing with an established architect of this style.
      The interiors, quite well preserved until today, have not undergone major changes as far as the original decoration is concerned. Because of the change in function (from 1948 to the end of 2011, the building was the headquarters of the National Library of Romania), subsequent divisions have altered its qualities. As the facades are deteriorating, the building needs reinforcement and restoration. Currently, the building is used only from time to time, for trade fairs and exhibitions, located on the ground floor.
    Although the buildings he designed are mostly eclectic, Ștefan Burcuş was also open to the "national style" approached by most of architects in the early 1900s, until the First World War. Together with architect Victor Ștefănescu, he designed the general plan of the General Exhibition in 1906, including two of its most successful pavilions: the Royal Pavilion (inspired by the architecture of the Cozia monastery) and Arts Pavilion. They disappeared, but images of the time confirm their architectural quality.
Carol Park houses a building also designed by the two architects: the Tower of Vlad Tepes (accomodating a water tower), inspired by the architecture of Poienari Fortress, Arges County. (Mariana Croitoru, 2015)
 


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    BIOGRAPHY


    (Bacau, 1870 - Bucharest, August 21, 1928)

    Academic/specialized studies:
    ? - He graduated the School of Arts and Crafts in Bucharest and the School of Architecture of Romanian Architects Society;
    1896 - He started attending the Beaux-Arts School in Paris, Department of Architecture. At the entrance examination he ranked first among the 450 candidates. Here he worked under the guidance of Julien Guadet and Edmond Jean Baptiste Paulin, and attended courses and conferences of renowned architects of the time. During his years of study, he won 7 medals, an aspect considered to be a record by participants in those courses;
    1900 - He received the title of Diplomat Architect of the French Government and returned to the country.

    Teaching:
    1900 - 1928 - Professor at the School of Architecture, Bucharest.

    Professional Activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees):
    1892-1896 - Head Librarian of the National School of Bridges and Roads, that allowed him to get an unlimited leave of absence in 1896 to study architecture abroad;
    1928 - President of the Romanian Architects Society (SAR);
    ? - Founder and delegate managing director of the company "Modern Construction" in Bucharest;
    1924 - Chairman of the editorial board of the journal "Arhitectura".
     


    PROJECTS


    Completed Projects

    Architectural Projects:

    1. Public Buildings:
    1905-1906 - Buildings designed for the General Jubilee Exhibition in Carol Park: Palace of Arts (destroyed in a fire in 1938 and demolished after the earthquake in 1940), the Royal Pavilion (demolished) and Tower of Tepes (which still exists today), designed with arch. Victor Stefanescu. The two architects also supervised the execution of the works included in the plan of the exhibition that opened on June 6, 1906;
    1907-1911 - The Stock Exchange and Chamber of Commerce Palace, Bucharest;
    1912 - Administrative Palace in Piatra Neamt, together with arch. Eugen Albu (now the Museum of History and Archaeology).

    2. Religious Architecture:
    1906-1917 - The Orthodox Cathedral in Galati, together with architects Petre Antonescu, Toma Dobrescu and Scarlat Petculescu.

    Urban design and landscaping:
    1906 - The plan of the General Jubilee Exhibition in Carol Park, Bucharest, together with arch. Victor Stefanescu and French landscape architect Edouard Redont. Architect Stefan Burcus also supervised the execution of the works included in the plan of the exhibition;
    1922 - Halfon parceling, 55-57 Kisseleff Road, Bucharest;
    ? - Projects for various parceling works in Bonaparte Park, Bucharest.

    Interior Projects:
    In terms of interior architecture, it shows the architect’s craftsmanship in the art of interior decoration. His craftsmanship is prominent in the Stock Exchange building where the outstanding element is the former hall of the Stock Exchange, and its ellipsoidal shape, located downstairs in the shaft of the vestibule, the former meeting hall of the Chamber, on the second floor, and the former ballroom with a balcony for the orchestra. Also, the entry vestibule and the octogonal staircase of honor in the Stock Exchange space, the staircase and elevator for Chamber of Commerce, and the rent spaces on the upper floors are made with great craftsmanship. The decoration of walls and ceilings is made in partially gilt, polychrome stucco and the hallway floors and the staircases are marble, with geometric designs in two or more colors. The original furniture disappeared or was replaced due to change in building function.

    Participation in Competitions:
    1906 - The competition for the Administrative Palace in Craiova (the competition was won by Petre Antonescu);
    1907 - The international competition for the Bucharest Stock Exchange Palace- he won and was entrusted with the execution of the project. Following the advice of architect Alexandru Savulescu, who advocated the organization of international competitions for awarding public works projects in the Capital and not only, such a competition was organized in early 1907 for the plans the Stock Exchange, and was attended by 14 Romanian, French, German and Austrian architects. The winner was architect Stefan Burcus. His project was published in the journal #"Arhitectura", in 1919 and 1920;
    ? - The competition for the monument of engineer Gh. Duca in front of the Bucharest North Railway Station, with Scarlat Petculescu.

    Editorial Activity:
    BURCUS, Stefan, Arhitectii inaintasii nostri, article published in the journal #„Arhitectura”, no. 1/1916, pp. 3-10.

    Awards and Distinctions:
    1907 - The journal „Analele de Arhitectură” announces the "international competition for designing the architectural plans of the Stock Exchange Palace", mentioning that the following prizes were awarded: 1st prize - 8,000 lei, gold; 2nd prize - 5,000 lei, gold; 3rd prize - 3,000 lei, gold. 14 projects were submitted, of which 6 remained in the competition. The Commission consisting of George Assan, then president of the Chamber of Commerce, Maurice Blank, Sigmund Prager, and Nicolae Dane, decided to award the 1st prize to the project with the motto "JUS" belonging to architect Stefan Burcus.
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY


    CONSTANTIN, Paul, Dictionar universal al arhitectilor, Editura Stiintifica si Enciclopedica, Bucuresti, 1986.
    DAMÉ, Frédéric, Bucurestiul in 1906, Editura Paralela 45, Pitesti, 2007.
    IONESCU, Grigore, Arhitectura pe teritoriul Romaniei de-a lungul veacurilor, Editura Academiei RSR, Bucuresti, 1982.
    IONESCU, Grigore, Istoria arhitecturii romanesti din cele mai vechi timpuri pana la 1900, Editura Capitel, Bucuresti, 2007.
    LUPU, Mircea, Scoli nationale in arhitectura, Editura Tehnica, Bucuresti, 1977.
    NOICA, Nicolae St., Lucrari publice din vremea lui Carol I. Acte de fundare si medalii comemorative, Editura Cadmos, Bucuresti, 2008.
    TURLEA, Cristina, Centrul istoric financiar bancar al Bucurestilor, Editura Cadmos, Bucuresti, 2011.
    VASILESCU, Sorin, Istoria Arhitecturii Moderne, Editura Institutului de Arhitectura „Ion Mincu”, Bucuresti, 1989.
    SOCOLESCU, Toma T., Fresca arhitectilor care au lucrat in Romania in epoca moderna: 1800-1925, Editura Caligraf Design, Bucuresti, 2004.
    TABACU, Gabriela, Revista „Arhitectura” - studiu monografic si indici 1905-1944, Editura Humanitas, Bucuresti, 2008.
    VASILESCU, Sorin, Dictionarul arhitectilor moderni si contemporani, Editura Institutului de Arhitectură „Ion Mincu”, Bucuresti, 1990.

    Webography:
    http://arhivadearhitectura.ro/arhitecti