CRITICAL REVIEW

Romanian architect of Armenian descent and a representative of functionalism, known at the time especially as the head-architect of the Autonomous Constructions Office (1933-1945). In this capacity and aided by the head of the Technical Fund, Ioan Hanciu, he designed Vatra Luminoasă neighbourhood, probably the most modern standard-housing neighbourhood in Bucharest at the time. He had already designed several buildings in Bucharest, but very few things are known about his activity after 1945. Most of the working-class buildings designed within this parcelling are ascribed to both architects, and it is difficult to establish with any degree of certainty the contribution each of them made to the institution. (Andrei Răzvan Voinea, 2016)
 


IMAGES



    BIOGRAPHY


    Academic/specialized studies
    Architect with a right of signature

    Professional activity: affiliations, administrative positions, committees
    1933-1945 - Head-architect of the Autonomous Constructions Office.
     
    Other relevant information
    The architect lived in Vatra Luminoasă parcelling, where he had been allotted a house by the Autonomous Constructions Office. In 1924, sources mention 57, Gen. Berthelot as his private address, and the fact that he was a member of the Society of Romanian Architects.   
     


    PROJECTS


    COMPLETED/NOT COMPLETED PROJECTS
     
    Urban planning and landscaping projects
    1933-1946 - Vatra Luminoasă Parcelling. A parcelling plan signed jointly with the head of the Technical Fund, Ioan Hanciu. The parcelling was approved in 1933, and the building process lasted until the end of the 1940s. Several historians and architects consider this parcelling as probably the most modern neighbourhood of its time, based both on its functionalist architecture and on the urban planning designs which included schools, parks, a church and commercial spaces. Not all of them were actually built, the project was criticised by architect Duiliu Marcu on account of several design mistakes, and in 1939, given the slow pace of the construction process, it was decided that attached multi-unit houses should be built instead. In total, the Autonomous Constructions Office built approximately 600 individual housing units within this parcelling, as well as the working-class apartment buildings in Maior Coravu Street, which date back to 1947 and were built for the workers at “23 August” Plant.   
    1939 - Drumul Murgului Parcelling (not completed). A parcelling plan signed jointly with the head of the Technical Fund, Ioan Hanciu. This parcelling was initially supposed to share the characteristics of Vatra Luminoasă, but it was never actually built because of the objections raised by Bucharest Municipal Plants (it would not have had access to the sewage network). The parcelling was supposed to be built at the crossroads between two boulevards - Basarabia and Nicolae Grigorescu.
     
    Architectural projects
    1933 - Thory Ionescu Building, Av. Protopopescu Street (demolished);
    ? - The Autonomous Constructions Office Headquarters, ground floor and first floor, 163 sq. m., parcelling 3 in Parcul Independentei (unidentified on the ground), which was probably never built, since at this address the Autonomous Constructions Office designed and erected another building, its own headquarters remaining at the original address – Robert de Flers Street, now 2, Logofăt Luca Stroici Street (source: The Cities’ Union Official Gazette, 1933).
     
    Rehabilitation projects
    1921 - Survey of the former Doljești Monastery, in Neamț County.
     
    Writing/editorial work
    „Casa Construcțiilor. Program și realizări” in: Arhitectura, no. 5-6/1942 (co-authored by I. Hanciu).
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Primary sources
    MACHEDON, Luminița, SCOFFHAM, Ernie, Romanian Modernism: The Architecture of Bucharest 1920-1940, MIT Press, 1999.
    VÂRTOSU, Gheorghe, Locuințe pentru populația nevoiașă și problema comasărilor, The Urban Planning Institute of Romania, Bucharest, 1938.
     
    APRIHĂNEANU, N., HANCIU, I, „Casa Construcțiilor. Program și realizări” in: Arhitectura, no. 5-6/1942.
     
    CAZAZIAN, Mihai Stepan, „O excursie cu Mașina Timpului în trecutul Rumanahayilor” in: Araratonlie.com. Periodic al Uniunii Armenilor din România, February 27, 2016, accessed on September 15, 2016: http://www.araratonline.com/o-excursie-cu-masina-timpului-in-trecutul-rumanahayilor/
     
    DOLGHIN, Dana, VOINEA, Răzvan, Cartierul Vatra Luminoasă: reforma locuinţelor sociale şi arhitectura modernă, http://atelier.liternet.ro/articol/13210/Razvan-Voinea-Dana-Dolghin/Cartierul-Vatra-Luminoasa-reforma-locuintelor-sociale-si-arhitectura-moderna.html
     
    DOLGHIN, Dana, VOINEA, Răzvan, Parcelarea Drumul Murgului, o posibilă Vatra Luminoasă, posted on January 24, 2015, accessed on September 15, 2016  http://atelier.liternet.ro/articol/15371/Razvan-Voinea-Dana-Dolghin/Parcelarea-Drumul-Murgului-o-posibila-Vatra-Luminoasa.html
     
    http://relevee.uauim.ro/81/
     
    Secondary sources:
    PMB Archives, Technical Fund: 88/1939, 276/1941;
    National Archives: Constructions Office Fund, the Ministry for Public Works, Superior Technical Council;
    The Cities’ Union Official Gazette, 1933.