CRITICAL REVIEW


    Although most foreign architects who worked in Romania at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century were French, the Italian architect Giulio Magni was a distinctive presence among them, acting as a link between the peninsula and the architecture of our country.
    His importance for Romanian architecture cannot be denied, even though he spent a relatively short period in our country (ten years). To stand out as a valuable architect among a variety of French architects, and alongside names like Ion Mincu, is no small feat. Moreover, many contemporaries considered that Magni was a man who tried to emphasize the Latin origins of the Romanian people in front of the Western world. To this end, the Italian architect envisioned the construction of a "Forum of Trajan" which would stand testimony to our Latin origin, like Trajan's Column in Rome. Although he did not fulfill his dream, Magni left Hala Traian in Romanian architecture, permanently trying, as chief architect of Bucharest, to achieve a deeper connection between the two Latin countries, Italy and Romania. His admiration for our country was undeniable and was especially due to the fact that we are the only Latin country whose name reminds of ancient Romans. That is why he deserves to be honoured, perhaps even more than the talented French architects who designed representative buildings in Romania, for his dedication to the fight for the affirmation of Romanian architecture as an expression of our people's Latin origin.
    Magni died in 1930, confined in his design work, away from the discussions that he himself had promoted, and almost hostile towards the new architectural directions of those years. In the Local Library from Velletri, the archives of the Magni family are kept in a catalog published in 1983. (Mariana Croitoru, 2015)
 


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    BIOGRAPHY


    (Velletri, Italy, November 1, 1859 - Rome, Italy, February 16, 1930)

    Academic/specialized studies:
    ? - 1881 - Institute of Fine Arts in Rome; he completed architectural studies under the guidance of L. Rosso (Scano).

    Professional Activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees):
    1890 - Along with several other prominent Italian architects, including Pio Piacentini, Basile, Koch, Pistrucci, Ojetti or Sacconi, he founded the Artistic Association of Architecture Lovers that aimed to create a fruitful collaboration between the great figures of Italian architecture at the end of the century. However, this project was put aside with the departure of the architect in Romania, in 1894, to take over a three-year contract offered by Bucharest city hall, under the Directorate of Technical Works.
    1894-1904 - Giulio Magni was invited to Bucharest in 1893, and since 1894 he worked on projects for the City Hall and the Ministry of Public Works until 1904;
    1906-1907 - After his return from Romania, he was president of „Associatione Artistica fra i Cultori dell’Architettura in Roma” that he founded together with others.  

    Other relevant information:
    During his stay in Romania, Magni worked with several local architects and engineers, mostly with architect Alexander Clavel and engineer Elie Radu (with the latter for the two stations already mentioned and the Community School in Mavrogheni) who was working for the Romanian Railways, and was influenced in the development of his works in Romania by the national style that was beginning to assert itself at the time, under the form of Neo-Romanian movement. He also designed a house for engineer Elie Radu, carried out in his own personal style that can be seen in the Community School as well.

    Another remarkable work carried out in the spirit of 1900 art, attributed to Giulio Magni, is the train station in Burdujeni, Suceava county. The building was erected around 1900, using Ciurea brick, left visible both indoors and out. The use of this material attenuates the impressive monumentality of the building, giving it a casual appearance. The whole building comprises three parts, on three levels (ground floor and two floors): a central one, which features a waiting room with baroque interior decoration, access halls, ticket sales offices, and two lateral buildings with an administrative function. Burdujeni Station is the largest building of its kind in the Old Kingdom and is comparable in size only to the stations made during the Hungarian occupation in Banat and Transylvania. Moreover, the construction is entirely preserved in its original form, until today.
     


    PROJECTS


    Completed Projects

    Architectural projects:

    1. Public Buildings:
    1894 - Hala Traian, covered market, Bucharest;
    1895 - Community School, Bucharest;
    1896 - Catholic School, Bucharest;
    1898 - General Warehouses, Bucharest (with eng. Anghel Saligny);
    1898 - Central Orthodox Seminary, Bucharest (now the Military Technical Academy);
    1898 - Royal Station, Argeș;
    1900 - Latin Archdiocese Palace, Bucharest;
    1900 - Brustureasa Station - Elie Radu Halt, Bacău
    approx. 1902 - Comănesti Station, Bacău
    approx. 1902 - Public Bath, Bucharest.

    2. Private Residences:
    1895 - Villa Scolari Trolli, Iasi;
    1896 - The house of the headmaster of the Community School in Mavrogheni, Bucharest;
    1896 - The house of the headmaster of the Sf. Voievozi School, Bucharest;
    1897 - Eng. Popovici House, Bucharest;
    1898 - Elie Radu House, Bucharest;
    1898 - General Demostene’s House, Bucharest;
    1899 - Dr. Andronescu House, Bucharest;
    1899 - "C. Mironescu" House, Bucharest;
    1900 - Archbishop Mons. De Hornstein House, Bucharest;
    1900 - The house of the headmaster of the Normal School for school teachers, Bucharest.

    Undated Projects: Sanatorium (Bucharest), Municipal Palace (Bucharest), Church (Constanţa), Lahovary House (Bucharest).

    Restoration Projects:
    1902 - „B. Muşu” House, Calea Victoriei, Bucharest.

    Unfinished Projects:
    1889-1896 - State Archives, Bucharest;
    1893 - Orthodox Church, Bucharest;
    1894 - Municipal Hospital, Bucharest;
    1895 - Municipal Palace, Bucharest.

    Participation in Competitions:
    1890 - Palace of the Chamber of Deputies;
    1893 - Central Station - 2nd prize;
    1906 - The  Stock Exchange Palace and the Chamber of Commerce, together with Alexandru Clavel.

    Awards and Distinctions:
    His professional merits were recognized by the kings of Italy and Romania who awarded him the highest distinctions.
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY


    Books:
    CELAC, Mariana, CARABELA, Octavian, MARCU-LAPADAT, Marius, București, arhitectură și modernitate - un ghid adnotat, Editura Simetria, București, 2005.
    CONSTANTIN, Paul, Dicţionar universal al arhitecţilor, Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, Bucureşti, 1986.
    CURINSCHI-VORONA, Gheorghe, Istoria arhitecturii în România, Editura Tehnică, Bucureşti, 1981.
    NOICA, Nicolae Șt., Lucrări publice din vremea lui Carol I. Acte de fundare și medalii comemorative, Editura Cadmos, București, 2008.
    POPESCU, Carmen, Le Style National Roumain. Construir une nation à travers l’architecture, 1881-1945, Presse Universitaire, Rennes, 2004.
    SOCOLESCU, Toma T., Fresca arhitecților care au lucrat în România în epoca modernă: 1800-1925, Editura Caligraf Design, București, 2004.

    Webography:
    https://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giulio_Magni