CRITICAL REVIEW


    Many of the buildings erected in Transylvania were marked by Ödön Lechner’s architectural vision, whose originality was surprising, which is why it was considered that, within Secession, he created a new style, the "Lechner style" neo-Hungarian par excellence. However, until he reached that point, Lechner (1845-1914) designed eclectic buildings, as he was not yet ready to relinquish historicism completely. The buildings he designed in Budapest in the last decade of the 19th century display some Hungarian folk elements, but are deeply marked by Romanesque and Gothic elements, and are therefore the result of a stylistic synthesis.
    Only in the following decade did Lechner become a true representative of the Hungarian Secession, creating original works in which he succeeded to merge the "rigor of a functional structure and the fantasy of original, curvilinear language, of folk inspiration." Despite these interesting decorations, what defines Lechner’s style, and can also be found in his disciples’ work, is the way that he treated large areas. These are ”two-dimensional compositions, rendered as decorative panels. Both the panels shaped in plaster, and the gaps follow the same law of rhythm and forms.” This ”law” is also applied by architects Dezső Jakab and Marcell Komor, two prominent figures of Hungarian Secession, who designed together numerous buildings throughout Transylvania, but especially in Oradea and Târgu Mureș, until 1918. Probably the most valuable works in Lechner’s style were built by these two architects. The buildings they designed and built cover a wide variety in terms of functionality (houses, rental property, theaters, banks, synagogues, schools, hotels, city hall headquarters, and various institutions).
    Rental properties include apartments for middle class or wealthy people. The structure of the apartments is specific for that time, with successive rooms facing the street, and service spaces facing the courtyard. One can note the grouping of rooms bearing a social function and their separation from the private, family rooms. Service spaces, isolated from the rest of the apartment, usually have a separate exit. There is an obvious custom style in the buildings designed by the two architects in Oradea, based on the Lechnerian model. Their facades and ornaments were a model for local architects and craftsmen.
    The Secession in Oradea would certainly be at least half poorer without the building located in Piața Unirii, known as Palatul Vulturul Negru (the Black Eagle Palace), named after the Vulturul Negru și Arborele Verde joint stock company. It was founded by two Jewish lawyers from Oradea, Ede Kurländer and Emil Adorján, future owners of the building. Therefore, it can be said that the palace built by architects Dezső Jakab and Komor Marcell, is the heart of the manifestation of the new style in the early 20th century, in the city on Crișul Repede River.
    Probably the most beautiful Secession building of the Hungarian architecture is the Palace of Culture, or, as it was called at the time, Francis Joseph "House of Culture",  which is located in the imposing central square of Târgu Mureş, on the left of the City Hall. The Palace of Culture is an epitome of the talent of the two architects, Jakab and Komor, who designed and city hall as well. For this reason, the building is considered to be the peak of their careers in the Romanian province and is, in fact, the last structure built by the two in our country. It is also one of the last buildings designed by the two architects in Secession style, marking the transition from a sinuous vision, which used a lot of curvy lines, to the geometry of the Viennese School, favouring straight lines. The building is designed symmetrically, so that the balance created does not allow highlighting spaces serving the main functions of the building, which would have overshadowed the ensemble. As far as this aspect is concerned, there is no disproportionate volume in the building as a whole, not even in the theater hall, the largest interior space, initially meant for concerts. (Mariana Croitoru, 2015)
 


IMAGES



    BIOGRAPHY


    (Vadu Crisului, Bihor, November 4, 1864 - Budapest, August 5, 1932)

    Academic /specialized studies:
    ? - He studied in Budapest, as Ödön Lechner’s disciple, who was nicknamed "the Hungarian Gaudi".

    Professional Activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees):
    1897-1918 - Jakab Dezso and Komor Marcell opened an architecture office, which earned them numerous projects and orders in Transylvania and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
     


    PROJECTS


    Completed Projects
    Urban design and landscaping:
    ? - Dezső Jakab and Komor Marcell consulted Mayor Dr. György Bernády (1902-1913) about arrangements in the central square in Târgu Mureș, where they would build their two representative buildings: the City Hall and the Palace of Culture.

    Architectural projects:
    1. Public Buildings
    1906-1907 - Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Oradea;
    1906-1908 - Discount Bank ("Steiner Miksa" House) in Timișoara;
    1907-1908 - Vulturul Negru Palace, in Oradea;
    1907-1909 - the City Hall in Târgu Mureș;
    1910 - Deva Theatre (later destroyed);
    1911-1913 - Palace of Culture in Târgu Mureș.

    2. Private Residences
    1903 - Adorján I* House, Oradea;
    1904-1905 - Adorján II House, Oradea;
    1904-1905 - Miklós Stern Palace, Oradea;
    1910 - Schwarz Jakab House, Oradea.

    Interior Projects:
    ? - Vulturul Negru Palace in Oradea; notes: the interior spaces richest in decorations are the public ones: the hotel, restaurant, show and meeting halls.

    Participation in Competitions:
    February 1905 ** - project competition for the design of the imposing city hall building in Târgu Mureș. 14 projects were submitted, and the winner was the one drafted by Dezső Jakab and Marcell Komor, entitled "Székház" (Headquarters), which proposed a Baroque building. Based on the proposed project, they were charged with drafting the final designs. During the design process, several important changes occurred. The tower was moved from the central axis of the building on its corner, thus breaking the symmetry of the facade, and instead of the neo-Baroque language in the first version, for the final design, the decoration chosen was typical of Secession art;
    1903 - The municipality of Oradea launched a design competition to rebuild Vulturul Hotel. Projects for the competition had to be submitted by September 30, 1905. After this period, the projects were to be assessed in 14 days. 13 projects were submitted, of which three were awarded: the 1st prize, of 1600 crowns, was won by the project code-named "Champagne", proposed by Dezső Jakab and Marcell Komor.

    The buildings known as Adorján Houses are the first buildings in Oradea built by architects Dezső Jakab and Marcell Komor. The contractor of both buildings was Sztarill Ferenc. The owner was Adorján Emil, who built Vulturul Negru Palace. He had bought the land located at the intersection of Patrioţilor Street and Moscovei Street in 1902, that is the land near the  theater warehouse. In 1903, Adorján I House was built on this site (6 Patrioţilor Street). It served as Emil Adorján’s living quarters and law office. Dr. Adorján Emil, son of Auschpitz Adolf (1836-1909), was born in Oradea in 1874. He changed his name from Auschpitz to Adorján in 1890. He was a leading figure in Oradea, with multiple interests. In 1893, he graduated the Faculty of Law, and in 1897, he got a PhD. in law and politics, in Budapest. In 1900, he earned his diploma degree in law. Adorján Emil was a very good stenographer, publishing two books on the topic. In 1898, he edited the journal „Foaia stenografilor", and in 1899, under his leadership, the Stenographers Association was established. He was interested in literature, was a man of culture with an impressive library, and an important collection of paintings. He built his wealth through hard work, becoming a billionaire, with several buildings and thriving businesses. Between 1912-1919, he was president of the Lawyers Association of Oradea, and between 1915-1916, vicepresident of the Bar. Adorján Emil was a member of the judiciary committee of city hall. After 1920, he no longer practiced law and devoted himself to business. He was chairman of several boards: the Bank of Industry, Vulturul Negru joint stock company, Arborele Verde rental property, and Pasage Cinema. He was also president of the Unio Club and honorary president of the Athletic Club. In 1920, Adorján Emil took over Székely and Boros Cinema and Film Industry Enterprise, turning it into one of the largest and most prosperous in interwar Romania, called Dorian Movie Rental House, with a capital of 1,200,000 lei. In Oradea, Dorian Movie Rental House owned Filmpalace cinema (previously called Pasage Cinema), which was renovated in 1927, and Film Terrasse, which was founded in 1928 (Dorian Terrace Theatre). The idea of ​​building it first appeared on the city council agenda in the meeting of June  4, 1907. This project was initiated under legal guidance, which proposed, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the coronation of King Franz Joseph, the construction of cultural houses in provincial towns. For these constructions, the government promised long-term loans. György Bernády, the talented and active mayor of the city, personally commissioned Budapest architects Marcell Komor and Dezső Jakab who also designed the City Hall, with the drafting of this building.

    ** In the early 20th century, Târgu Mureş became one of the most prosperous cities in the region, thanks to the work and projects of its mayor, Dr. György Bernády (1902-1913). The first step towards creating a modern city center, by arranging one of the biggest squares in Transylvania, was the building program, which announced a three-storey building and tower. The functional plan required the staff apartments, prison, firefighters storerooms, and several other annexes to be located in the basement, the police offices, municipal court, tax office, technical service, archive, library. etc. on the ground floor, while the city hall offices, hall of festivities, designed to reach a two-storey height, and including seating, the local council hall, and a wedding hall were located upstairs. The City Hall Tower was reserved to firefighters.
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY


    Books:
    CONSTANTIN, Paul, Arta 1900 în România, Editura Meridiane, Bucureşti, 1972.
    CONSTANTIN, Paul, Dicţionar universal al arhitecţilor, Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, Bucureşti, 1986.
    ŞTEFĂNUȚ, Ada, Arta 1900 în România, Editura Noi Media Print, Bucureşti, 2008.

    Webography:
    www.enciclopediamaghiara.ro/monumente_ardelene
    https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakab_Dezso
    https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komor_Marcell