CRITICAL REVIEW

Romanian architect, follower of the Neo-Romanian style, Constantin Pomponiu is known as the author of the Unification Cathedral in Cluj (1921-1934) and the Mausoleum in Mărășești (in collaboration with G. Cristinel), inaugurated in 1938). Both are expressions of national state-building after 1918, but the cathedral was criticized by Gr. Ionescu for ’’its tendency towards forced monumentality in marked contrast, on the one hand, with the inconsistent volume at the top, and with the excess of detailed elements on the other hand.” Besides these projects, arch. C. Pomponiu had a fruitful activity as Head of the Department of Architecture within C.F.R. House of Labour, since 1922 till mid-1930s, contributing to the final works in Steaua parcelling, where facilities such as a maternity, a nursery, a high school and a church were built (Sf. Gheorghe-Grivița).
(Andrei Răzvan Voinea, 2016)
 


IMAGES



    BIOGRAPHY

    (b. 1887, Galiciuica, Dolj - d. September 1, 1945, Bucharest)
     
    Academic/specialized studies
    1909 - He began his studies at the Superior School of Architecture in Bucharest, working at the same time in Șt. Burcuș’s office. In 1911, he left for Paris; he was admitted at the Fine Arts School, in Poulain-Gaudet’s workshop. He graduated in 1919, but continued to work for another two years in the north of France.
     
    Professional Activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees)
    1920-1922 - Architect of Edilitatea Society;
    1922-1935? - Head of the Architecture Service within C.F.R. Labour House;
    1925 - Member and secretary of the Society of Romanian Architects.
     
    Other relevant information
    According to information in Arhitectura magazine, the architect’s address was 163 Prelungirea Dorobanți and then he lived on Paris Street.
     


    PROJECTS


    COMPLETED PROJECTS
     
    Urban planning and landscaping projects
    ? - Edilitatea Parcelling, 163 Prelungirea Dorobanți. The parcelling plan included 33 parcelling lots and suggested the opening of Madrid street, where those who subsequently bought the lots built houses.
    ? - C.F.R. Inginerilor Parcelling. Streets (currently) Pandele Țărușanu, C. Dissescu and Ion Bianu, near the Northern Railway Station. It covered an area of 67.700 sq. m. and included 36 lots.
    ? - Steaua Parcelling (stage 2). Began by Ioan D. Trajanescu and the Communal Society for Cheap Housing, the parcelling had not been finished in 1916, when the works were cancelled. After the C.F.R. Labour House was founded, C. Pomponiu continued to design standard houses, including a church, a high school and a kindergarten in the neighbourhood. The parcelling includes a total of 700 individual houses and flats.
    1927-1929 - Viilor Parcelling. He signed the parcelling plan, while, most probably, the standard houses were designed by Maria Cottescu. The parcelling includes 250 houses.
    ? - C.F.R. Parcelling, Nicolina, Iași. The parcelling plan bears his signature. He might have designed several parcelling plans, such as those in Simeria, Pașcani sau Petroșani.
     
    Architectural projects
    1921-1934 - Unification Cathedral in Cluj (in collaboration with G. Cristinel);
    1938 - The Mausoleum in Mărășești (together with G. Cristinel). The inauguration took place no earlier than September 18, 1938;
    ? - The building of C.F.R House of Labour (Calea Griviței, currently Medlife);
    ? - Steaua Maternity (currently Burn Care Hospital);     
    1923 - Aurel Vlaicu High School, in Steaua Parcelling;
    ? - Carpentry workshop (Feroviarilor Street, no longer in use);
    ? - School 43 (currently Kindergarten 43);
    ? - Steaua Children’s Home;
    1926 - 1931 - Sf. Gheorghe Church, Grivița;
    1927-1929? - Standard houses in Viilor Parcelling: Type F;
    ? - Witing Polyclinic;
    ? - The building of Soc. „Creditul Funciar Urban” (currently Spiru Haret University);
    1933 - Eng. Oscar Panoff Building, Calea Dorobanți.
     
    Architectural projects not located (probably in Edilitatea Parcelling)
    1933 - Eng. L Pomponiu, 67 Petre Ispirescu, nowadays demolished;
    1933 - Aurel Constantinescu building, 16 Fundătura Peleș (not located).
     
    Architectural projects not completed:
    1924 - Design project for the Chamber of Commerce in Constanța;
    1925 - Apprentice School.
     
    Competitions
    1926 - Project for Communal Palace in Bucharest (not completed)
    1942 - The cathedral in Odessa.
     
    Awards and Distinctions
    ? ­- 1st Prize, design plans competition for the Mausoleum in Mărășești (40 000 lei).
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Primary sources:
    CELAC, Mariana, CARABELEA, Octavian, MARCU-LEPĂDAT, Marius, București, arhitectură și modernitate, un ghid adnotat, Editura Simetria, București, 2005, p. 134.
    CONSTANTIN Paul, Dicționar universal al arhitecților, Editura Științifică și Enciclopedică, București, 1977, p. 260.
    IONESCU, Grigore, Arhitectura pe teritoriul României de-a lungul veacurilor, Editura Academiei Socialiste România, București, 1981.
     
    IOAN, Augustin, „Arhitectura ortodoxă și tema identitară (1900-1942)” în revista Ianus, 5-6/2002 on-line la http://ianus.inoe.ro/Nr%205-6_2002.htm
     
    Secondary sources:
    National Archives: Ministry of Public Works Fund - Superior Technical Council, 92/1922; 385/1922; 1748/1942
    PMB Archives: 131/1937; 51/1920
    Arhitectura magazine, no.3/1924; 4/1925; 5/1926; 6/1930.