CRITICAL REVIEW

Duiliu Marcu is an architect with an uncommon polyvalence in Romanian architecture, as one of its most prominent figures who can as matter of fact be identified with the entire evolution of Romanian architecture. In this sense, his professional activity covered almost 50 years (1912-1966), a period during which democratic Romania witnessed the rule of four kings [Carol I (1866-1914), Ferdinand I (1914-1927), Mihai I (1927-1930 and 1940-1947) and Carol II (1930-1940)], and subsequently, the instauration of communist regime. Moreover, the architect’s destiny is connected with the royal family, especially with the personality of Carol II.
Although during his long career, he created in most styles that were present in Romania, Duiliu Marcu did not merely design using the specific elements of each style, but he also imposed his own vision on a particular style, one that set him apart from all his other peers.
The most valuable personal stylistic initiative is, undoubtedly, the synthesis of modernism with classic architecture, as the architect’s most important and most spectacular works stem from this new view. The modernist stage of Duiliu Marcu’s career is even more prolific. The architecture programmes he approached are varied, from public buildings, office and apartment buildings to individual houses and exhibition pavilions.
However, modernism is not the only movement Marcu leaves a mark on, developing his own vision and outlook. On the contrary, the same is true for the Neo-Romanian style, as Duiliu Marcu proposes an alternative, an original manner of approaching the national style, namely the ’’Neo-Byzantine” style or ’’traditional Romanian architecture”.
The architect’s transition to modernism will take place after 1930, when, despite his valuable work and the success he had already enjoyed in his career, Duiliu Marcu felt the need to change his approach on architecture, so that it could better match the needs of interwar Romanian society. In this sense, the architect is part of the modernist movement, more exactly academic modernism, filtered through his particular vision, unique in our country, reminiscent at times of Mussolini architecture. As the main figure of this style, Duiliu Marcu refined his work and imposed himself as one of the greatest architects in the history of architecture in Romania. However, he created his works, almost entirely, before 1945. Afterwards, he focused mainly on teaching and several urban studies.  
The large number of works created by the architect throughout his entire career, his ability to approach all types of architecture present in Romania during the monarchy, and to perfectly match the beneficiaries’ requirements, no matter who they were, all these show that Duiliu Marcu has remained and will always remain a great personality of our architecture, regardless of the political regimes that come and go.
One of Marcu’s contributions to our all interwar architecture is reinventing architectural detail, both by the solution found and the preciousness of the material used. Thus, the way the diplomats of the Fine Arts School in Paris approached details in the late 19th century and early 20th century, using an eclectic style, reappeared in the details of modernist architecture, in particular those of the academic modernism, by using materials such as natural stone, wood, glass and metal. For this reason, I’d dare name Duiliu Marcu ’’THE ARHITECT OF THE DETAIL IN ROMANIAN MODERNIST ARCHITECTURE”.

Mariana CROITORU (2016)
 


IMAGES



    BIOGRAPHY

    (Calafat, March 25th, 1885 – Bucharest, March 9, 1966)
     
    Academic/specialized studies
    1905 - Ranked first among students admitted at the Superior School of Architecture;
    1906 - Ranked second among students admitted at the famous School of Fine Arts (Beaux-Arts) in Paris, student of professor-architect Victor Alexandre Frederic Laloux (1850-1937).
     
    Teaching
    1923-1927 - lecturer of ’’urban aesthetics” at the Superior Public School of Sciences in Bucharest;
    1927-1929 - substitute lecturer at the Superior School of Architecture in Bucharest;
    1929-1957 - Professor at the Department of History, the Superior School of Architecture in Bucharest.
     
    Public activity: affiliations, administrative positions, committees 
    1912 - Architect-diplomat for the French government [after graduating the Beaux-Arts Academy, he got a „architecte d.p.l.g.” diploma (Société des architectes diplômés du gouvernement)];
    1912-1913 - Architect for the Ministry of Public Works;
    1913-1917 - Head architect of the C.F.R. Directorate-General (directorate for new works - studies for new types of passenger stations;
    1918-1922 - Director-general of the Superior Technical Council (Ministry of Public Works);
    1922-1937 - Advisor of the Superior Technical Council (Ministry of Public Works);
    1924-1937 - Inspector general of the C.F.R. Directorate-General;
    1937-1942 - Vice-president of the Superior Technical Council (Ministry of Public Works);
    1937-1950 - Urban works specialist (M.L.P.), introducing the new up-to-date urban principles in Romania (that were completely unknown);
    1942-1946 - Minister of Public Works;
    1946-1949 - President of the assessment committee, the Ministry of Constructions.
     


    PROJECTS


    COMPLETED PROJECTS

    Urban planning and landscaping projects

    1923-1924 - Union Monument Square, Brăila (co-author - sculptor Oscar Späthe);
    1924-1926 - Union Square in Oradea;
    1934-1935 – Partial systematization of Bacău;
    1934-1936 – Systematization of Bucharest, in collaboration with arch. R. Bolomei, arch. I. Davidescu, eng. T. Rădulescu;
    1935-1937 - Systematization of Buzău;
    1936 - G. Crăiniceanu Lotization, Predeal;
    1936 - Systematization of Agigea resort;
    1937 - Systematization of Timișul de Sus resort, in collaboration with the town’s technical service;
    1937-1942 - Systematization of Brașov, in collaboration with the city’s technical service;
    1942 - Partial systematization of Curtea de Argeș;
    1943-1945 – Systematization of the civic centre in Brașov, in collaboration with T. Chițulescu.
     
    Architectural projects
    Public buildings
    1912-1913 - University Palace in Bucharest, Department of Physics-Mathematics, main author: Prof. Arch. Nicolae Ghica-Budești;
    1923-1926-1931 - Polytechnic School in Timișoara, Mechanics Pavilion, Student Dormitory and Canteen;
    1923-1928 - The theatre in Timișoara, Opera House Square, performance hall, interiors; subsequently - 1934-1936 - facades;
    1925-1927 - Athénée Palace Hotel, Bucharest; subsequently, between 1938-1939 - renovation, conversion and a new wing;
    1925-1927 - ’’La Colonade” restaurant, in Bucharest, Șoseaua Kiseleff (demolished in the interwar period);
    1925-1926 - Arts pavilion on Șoseaua Kiseleff in Bucharest (demolished in the interwar period);
    1926-1930 - Capitol Movie Theatre in Timișoara (he took part in the organized competition, got the 1st prize and was assigned the execution of the work);
    1929 - Romania’s Pavilion at the International Exhibition in Barcelona;
    1930 - Romania’s section at the Exhibition for Communications and Tourism, in Poznan (Poland), in collaboration with arch. Horia Creangă;
    1934-1936 - Grocery store, Buzău;
    1935-1937 - Building of Magistrates’ Credit House, Bucharest, 24 Magheru Blvd.;
    1934-1937 - Palace of C.F.R. Directorate-General (Ministry of Transport), Bucharest, main collaborator arch. Ștefan Călugăreanu;
    1936-1938 - Romanian Academy Library, Calea Victoriei, Bucharest;
    1934-1941 - Autonomous House of State Monopolies, 150 Calea Victoriei, Bucharest;
    1937-1938 - Royal station, Bucharest - Băneasa (Mogoșoaia);
    1937-1938 - Royal station, Sinaia, in collaboration with C.F.R. Architecture Service;
    1937 - Passenger station, in collaboration with C.F.R. Architecture Service
    1937-1939 - Superior School of War, Bucharest;
    1937-1939 - Scientific Research Institute, Șoseaua București-Ploiești (Km 42);
    1937-1939 - Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Romanian Academy, Cluj;
    1937-1944-1952 - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Victoria Palace, Bucharest;
    1937-1939 - Office building of „Mica” Society, 61-63 Calea Victoriei, Bucharest (it disappeared in the earthquake on March 4, 1977);
    1937 - Romania’s Pavilion at the International Exhibition in Paris (takes part in the competition, is awarded the 1st prize and the execution);
    1937 - Romania’s restaurant at the International Exhibition in Paris (takes part in the competition, is awarded the 1st prize and the execution);
    1937-1938 - Romanian Legation in Prague;
    1946-1947 - The Romanian Embassy in Vienna, in collaboration with the architecture service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
    1947 - The Romanian Embassy in Sophia, in collaboration with the architecture service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
     
    Private residences
    1913-1915 - Iulian Vrăbiescu house, Craiova;
    1914-1915 - Tudor Mărăscu house, Craiova;
    1915-1916 and 1920-1925 - Eng. Constantin M. Vasilescu house, 54 Lascăr Catargiu Blvd., Bucharest;
    1916-1919 - Sevastia Ilie Săbăreanu house, 52-54 Regina Maria Blvd., Bucharest;
    1919 and 1922-1925 - Dr.  Anton Dobrovici house, 40 Lascăr Catargiu Blvd., Bucharest;
    1922-1923 - Building in Bucharest, 11 Sf. Apostoli Street (demolished);
    1922 - Victor Antonescu rental property, 14 Biserica Popa Chițu Street, Bucharest;
    1922 - Procopie-Dumitrescu house, 365 Batiștei Street, Bucharest;
    1922-1924 - Scarlat-Caragiale house, 21 Sofia Street, Bucharest;
    1923 - Nicolae Tabacovici Villa, Sinaia;
    1923 - Julietta and Eugen Teodorini’s House, Ploiești;
    1923 - Villa near Bucharest, Afumaţi;
    1926-1939 - Apartment and office building, 45 Calea Victoriei, Bucharest (in collaboration with arch. G. M. Cantacuzino);
    1926-1928 - Julietta și Eugen Teodorini’s house, 17 Alexandru Philippide 17, Bucharest;
    1927-1929 - The Blanks chapel, Bucharest-Băneasa;
    1928-1929 - Villa in Reșița;
    1930 - Doctor Krainic villa, Sinaia-Cumpătu;
    1932-1933 - Eng. Constantin Bușilă house, 1 Modrogan Alley, Bucharest (currently 1 Rabat Street);
    1932-1934 - The apartment building of „Mica” Society (owner Ion Gigurtu), 61-63 Calea Victoriei - ’’Nestor Block”, Bucharest (disappeared in the 1977 earthquake);
    1933 - Professor Pogoneanu’s villa, Sinaia;
    1933 - Mrs. George Georgescu’s house - Florica (Tutu) Oroveanu (engineer Constantin Bușilă’s adoptive daughter), 9 Washington Street, Bucharest;
    1934-1935 - Tabacovici building, 2 Dionisie Street, Bucharest;
    1934-1935 - Engineer Ficșinescu building, 92 Știrbei Vodă Street, Bucharest;
    1934 - Engineer Luca Bădescu house, 1 Muzeul Zambaccian Street, Bucharest;
    1934 - Olga Ștefănescu (Bébé) villa, Sinaia-Cumpătu;
    1934-1935 - Gigurtu family villa, Predeal;
    1934-1935 - Prof. Mircea Djuvara house, 14 Sofia Street, Bucharest;
    1935 - Stoianescu building, 20 Știrbei Vodă, Bucharest;
    1936 - Giurgea building, 17 Știrbei Vodă, Bucharest;
    1936-1937 - Stoianescu building, 18 Știrbei Vodă Street, Bucharest;
    1936-1938 - Mrs. Popovici-Mezin’s building, 25 Italiană Street, Bucharest;
    1936 - Mrs. Ioanid’s villa, Balcic.
     
    Industrial Architecture
    1934 - Slaughterhouse in Buzău, in collaboration with eng. B. Stinghe (demolished);
    1934-1935 and 1940 - Slaughterhouse in Bacău, in collaboration with eng. B. Stinghe (demolished);
    1923-1926 - Lighting substations, Sinaia and Bușteni;
    1934 - Small power plant on the seaside, Balcic;
    1921-1924 - power plant and the substation building in Florești-Prahova, co-author – engineer Emil Prager.
     
    Religious architecture
    1924-1926 - Capri vault, Bellu cemetery, Bucharest;
    1938 - General Gheorghe Marcu’s tomb (Duiliu Marcu’s father), Craiova;
    1945 - Vaults: Baron Lövendal, Cosma, Eraclide, Iliescu families, Bucharest, Bellu cemetery.
     
    Restauration projects
    1922 - Marie and Ion Pillat house, Gogu Street, Bucharest (conversion);
    1922 - Mrs. Adina Vasilescu’s house, Pompiliu Eliade Street, Bucharest (conversion);
    1923-1924 - Aristide Blank house, Gen. Berthelot Street, Bucharest (conversion);
    1922 - Marie and Ion Pillat house, Gogu Cantacuzino Street, Bucharest (conversion);
    1922 - Mrs. Adina Vasilescu’s house, Pompiliu Eliade Street, Bucharest (conversion);
    1930 - Eng. Constantin Bușilă’s villa, Mănăstirii Street, Sinaia (extention, renovation of former Candiano villa).
     
    Interior projects
    1922 - Raphael Halfon property (arch. Ștefan Burcuș), 55-57 Șoseaua Kiseleff, Bucharest (5 house ensemble - interiors for the house where Duiliu Marcu lived until the end of his life);
    1925-1926 - Interiors of „Dacia” ship (donated to Russia as war indemnity in 1944);
    1920 - George Ionescu property (the architect’s father-in-law), 65 Gogu Cantacuzino Street, Bucharest (interiors, Duiliu Marcu’s study was on the ground floor; currently the embassy of Hungary);
    1928 - Elena Krețulescu Palace (arch. Petre Antonescu), 39 Știrbei Vodă Street, Bucharest (Presidency of the Council of Ministers, interiors);
    1936-1938 - Engineer Ion Gigurtu house (arch. Paul Smărăndescu), 16-18 Benito Mussolini Street, Bucharest (currently Nicolae Iorga Street) (interior renovation).
     
    PROJECTS NOT COMPLETED
    1912 - A. Gusti property, Ioanid Park, Bucharest;
    1912 - Ilie Săbăreanu house, Ioanid Park, Bucharest;
    1914-1915 - Madona Dudu Cathedral in Craiova (execution project), built by architect I. D. Traianescu on the foundations designed by Duiliu Marcu;
    1914-1916 - N. Titulescu house, 35 Șoseaua Kiseleff, Bucharest;
    1923 - S.A.R. house- Simona Alimănișteanu, Ioanid Park, Bucharest;
    1923 - R. Drăghicescu rental property, Jules Michelet Street, Bucharest;
    1923 - Dan Corbescu villa, Afumați;
    1923 - Pavilion (I. Doiciu) in Snagov (restaurant, dairy, wharf);
    1923 - Aurel Cosma house, Timișoara;
    1924-1925 - ’’Cenușa” Crematory (the first building of is kind in Europe), execution project (built by architect I. D. Traianescu on the foundations designed by Duiliu Marcu), Bucharest;
    1926 - Orthodox cathedral in Timișoara;
    1931 - Romanian Academy Palace, pre-project;
    1928 - Housing for workers, Reșița;
    1928 - Eng. V. Vâlcovici villa, Constanța;
    1928 - Villa in Anina;
    1930 - Central square, Costinești;
    1931 and 1957-1959 - Romanian Academy Square, Bucharest;
    1934 - Marmorosch-Blank Bank, extension on Calea Victoriei, Bucharest;
    1934 - Cesianu-Arion property, 175 Calea Victoriei / Sevastopol Street, Bucharest;
    1934 - Apartment building for workers, Anina;
    1934 - Predescu Corneliu house, 119 Calea Dudești, Bucharest;
    1935 - Solacolu rental property, 36 Dionisie Street, Bucharest;
    1935 - Weiss house, 35 Scaune Street, Bucharest;
    1936 - Gheorghe Fringhian building, apartments and offices, 72 Calea Victoriei;
    1936 - Villa in Costinești;
    1937 - Railway station, Constanța, in collaboration with C.F.R. Architecture Service;
    1937 and 1959 - Piața Victoriei in Bucharest;
    1938 - Piața Palatului Republicii, Bucharest;
    1938-1939 - Romanian Social Institute, Bucharest;
    1938 - Competition for City Hall square, Bucharest;
    1938 - Italian Legation - „Cassa d’ Italia”, Calea Victoriei / General Gheorghe Manu Street, Bucharest;
    1938 - Studies for an Arch of Triumph;
    1940 - Dobrescu house, Șoseaua Vianu, Bucharest.
     
    Competitions. Awards and distinctions
    1913 - 1st Prize, the competition for Madona Dudu Cathedral in Craiova;
    1927 - 1st Prize, the competition for Romanian Academy Palace;
    1936 - International competition for the systematization of Stockholm (collaboration);
    1939 - Competition for Bucharest Opera House;
    1953 - Laureate of the state prize for the interiors of Victoria Palace.
     
    Editorial activity
    1946 - „Architecture 1930-1940”, Bucovina I. E. Toroutiu printing press, Bucharest;
    1960 - „Arhitectură 1912-1960”, Editura Tehnică, București.
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Books
    CONSTANTIN, Paul, Dicţionar universal al arhitecţilor, Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, București, 1986.
    MARCU, Duiliu, Architecture 1930-1940, Bucharest, Imprimerie „Bucovina”, 1946.
    MARCU, Duiliu, Arhitectură 1912-1960, Editura Tehnică, București, 1960.
    TABACU, Gabriela, Revista „Arhitectura” - studiu monografic şi indici 1905-1944, Editura Humanitas, Bucharest, 2008.
     
    Articles
    FILITTI, Georgeta, „Jurnal Duiliu Marcu”, in: Revista Astra, no. 3-4/2011, no. 1-2/2012.
     
    Archives
    ANR - „Donația Duiliu Marcu”, file 1444/1977.
    CNSAS - Marcu Duiliu, file no. 54986.
    Carol I National College in Craiova.
    Fine Arts School in Paris.