CRITICAL REVIEW


Cezar Lăzărescu’s influence in the history of Romanian post-war architecture is undoubtedly marked by the impressive amount of works, their diversity and their spread in the country. At a time when architects’ personality, like that of many other creative professionals, was crushed under the political steamroller, when achievements belonged to the people, and professionals were mere diligent participants, when decisions were rather dogmatic than rational, a series of architects managed to support and build constructions bespeaking their style, giving a human face to a profession at great risk of propaganda instrumentalization. Cezar Lăzărescu is one of them. I believe that his main professional achievement was succeeding in courageously creating a shift in the expression of post-war architecture. During the second half of the 1950s, a new programme emerged, resulting from changing the employees’ regime. The holiday homes, which were urgently needed in the year when paid holidays were introduced, were spared the bureaucratic control, which watched over the application of the ’’realist socialist’’ style in everything that was being built, thus allowing them to erect – in places such as Eforie Nord and Mangalia – buildings with a much brighter, lighter and open appearance than the austere fortresses that were the pride of the Soviet regime. The step towards a modern architecture, imported in Europe following the American model – a sacrilege in the communist world – brought not only a young spirit and a wind of freedom, but also a great difference in the economy of construction in terms of investment and maintenance. These buildings were followed by Mamaia ensemble, an architectural display that applied visions and concepts from Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Neutra, which marked the end of Soviet architecture. The writings of that period fail to reflect architects’ struggle and courage, their effort that required a great deal of commitment and diplomatic skills in order to have their projects erected. A number of works, hardly mentioned, such as the special villas in Eforie, Mamaia, Floreasca, Timiș, Snagov, and Neptun, exhibit an elegant and subdued combination of the architecture of the time, with subtle elements of Romanian decoration.
Arch. Răzvan Lăzărescu (Cezar Lăzărescu’s son, living in Paris)
(Mariana Croitoru, 2017)
 


BIOGRAPHY


(Bucharest, 3 October 1923 - Bucharest, 27 November 1986)
 
Academic/specialized studies
? - 1952 - Faculty of Architecture.....
 
Public/professional activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees)
? - Rector of „Ion Mincu” Architecture Institute;
? - President of the Union of Romanian Architects.
 


PROJECTS


COMPLETED/INCOMPLETE PROJECTS

1950s – Youth work sites; head of a team of architects designing buildings for the workers who were building the Danube-Black Sea Canal, near Cernavodă;
1950s – Public baths, health centres, and children’s holiday hostels in Eforie Nord-Eforie Sud, Techirghiol, and Mangalia.
 
Urbanism projects
1952 - Systematization plan of Cernavodă;
1952 - Systematization plan of Poarta Alba;
1952 - Systematization plan of Năvodari;
1954 - Systematization plan of Constanța;
1957 - Systematization plan and development of the Black Sea;
1958 - Systematization plan of Vasile Roaita (Eforie Sud);
1958 - Systematization plan of Eforie Nord;
1967 - Systematization plan of Pitești;
1969 - Systematization detail of the campus of the Institute of Atomic Physics in Măgurele;
1977 - Systematization plan of Zimnicea.
 
Architectural projects
1949 - Administrative pavilion of Hunedoara Plants;
1949 – Residential development for single workers in Hunedoara;
1950 - Technical College, 24 classrooms and workrooms, Hunedoara;
1951 - 4 blocks of flats for Electroputere Factory in Craiova;
1951 – Development of the State Planning Council;
1951 - Blocks of flats in Medgidia, 86 flats;
1951 – Interior decoration and extension of the Composers House headquarters in Bucharest;
1952 - Blocks of flats, including 140 flats in Medgidia;
1952 – Work camps for miners, Baia Mare;
1954 - Central Pavilion - Dinamo Sports Club in Bucharest;
1955 – Buildings for the Army, Dobrogea;
1956 - Buildings for the Ministry of Internal Affairs;
1957 – Spa ensemble, Eforie Sud;
1957 - Seafront development (restaurant, terraces and annexes), Eforie Nord;
1957 - Hotel accommodating 200 people, Eforie Nord;
1957 - 8 ministerial villas, Eforie Sud;
1957 – Development of ’’Albatros” hotel and building its adjoining restaurant, Mamaia;
1957 – Summer camp accommodating 200 children, Eforie Nord;
1958 - 3 villas in Mangalia;
1958 - Summer camp accommodating 600 children, Eforie Sud;
1958 – Seafront bar and restaurant, Eforie Nord;
1958 - 9 governmental villas, Eforie Nord;
1958 – Hotels and restaurants accommodating 1 600 people, Eforie Nord;
1958 – Hotels accommodating 1 200 people, restaurants and retail stores (’’mart”), Mangalia;
1958 – Three presidential villas, Eforie Nord;
1959 - 3 health centres, accommodating 600 people, a restaurant and a club, Mangalia;
1959 - Hotels, shopping malls, movie theatres and restaurants, accommodating 2 000 people, Eforie Nord;
1959 – Spa buildings, Lacul Techirghiol;
1959 – Sanatorium and clinic, accommodating 500 people, Mangalia;
1959 – Summer camp, restaurant and social amenities, Mamaia;
1959 – Headquarters of People’s Council in Mangalia;
1959 - Tuberculosis sanatorium for children, accommodating 600 patients, Mangalia;
1960 - 21 hotels and eight restaurants, retail stores, bars and clubs, accommodating 10 000 people, Mamaia;
1960 – Housing for administrative staff, Eforie Nord;
1961 – Block of flats for the administrative staff of a health centre accommodating 300 people, Eforie Nord;
1962 – Presidential villa for foreign officials, Bucharest, Floreasca Lake 1;
1963 - 5 villas, including governmental movie theatres and swimming pools, Bucharest;
1964 - Presidential villa, including a swimming pool and movie theatres, Bucharest, Floreasca Lake 2;
1964 – Presidential villa, including a movie theatre, Timișu de Jos;
1965 - Presidential villa for external affairs officials, Snagov;
1965 – Residence for the officials of the communist party, Snagov;
1965 - Hotel accommodating 50 people, for officials, Snagov;
1965 – Governmental villa, Craiova;
1966 – ’’Europa” Hotel, Eforie Nord;
1966 – ’’Marina” presidential villa, Mamaia;
1967 – Reception and guest room, Mangalia Nord;
1967 – OMNIA, conference hall, the central committee of the party, Bucharest;
1969 – Residence accommodating 50 people, and a restaurant, Pitești;
1969 - Administrative and political headquarters, Pitești;
1969 - Administrative and political headquarters, Focșani;
1969 – Design of governmental train and decoration of 24 train carriages;
1969 - Design of governmental ship and its interior decoration;
1970 – Culture house, hall accommodating 800 people, Pitești;
1970 – Otopeni International Airport, Bucharest;
1970 – Sports Centre, accommodating 12000 people, Bucharest;
1970 - Pavilion for the Institute of Atomic Physics in Măgurele;
1971 - Extension of the Polytechnic University, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Bucharest;
1974 - Sports Palace, accommodating 8 000 people, Bucharest;
1974 - Hotel in Predeal;
1975 – Buildings in Libia;
1976 – Presidential residence, Monrovia, Liberia (the project was not completed);
1977 – Romanian Embassy in Beijing, China;
1977 – Parliament in Khartoum, Sudan;
1977 – Presidential Palace, Khartoum, Sudan (the project was not completed);
1979 – Embassy of China, Bucharest;
1979 - Cultural Centre of the Embassy of France, Bucharest;
1980 - TV Tower, Bucharest (the project was not completed);
1982 – Modification works of the National Theatre of Bucharest, project initiated by a team of architects led by Arch. Horia Maicu, commissioned by Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej;
1984/1985-1986 – He coordinated the National Library of Bucharest project (unfinished building).
 
Editorial activity
***, Manualul arhitectului proiectant, volume 1, Editura Tehnică, Bucharest, 1954.
LĂZĂRESCU, Cezar, Proiectarea și construcția orașelor. Norme și principii, Editura Tehnică, Bucharest, 1956.
LĂZĂRESCU, Cezar, Problemele actuale ale hotelurilor din orașele țării noastre (PhD thesis).
LĂZĂRESCU, Cezar, TOLOGEA, Sebastian, Betonul aparent, Editura Tehnică, Bucharest, 1969.
LĂZĂRESCU, Cezar, Construcții hoteliere, Editura Tehnică, Bucharest, 1971.
LĂZĂRESCU, Cezar, Arhitectura construcțiilor turistice moderne din România, Editura Meridiane, Bucharest, 1972.
LĂZĂRESCU, Cezar, Arhitectura românească în imagini, Editura Meridiane, 1973.
LĂZĂRESCU, Cezar, CRISTEA, Gabriel, GHEORGHIU, Dinu, BORGOVAN, Anca, Arhitectura contemporană din România, Editura Meridiane, Bucharest, 1973.
LĂZĂRESCU, Cezar, Urbanismul în România, Editura Tehnică, Bucharest, 1974.
LĂZĂRESCU, Cezar, Arhitectura și viața orașelor, Editura Tehnică, Bucharest, 1986.
LĂZĂRESCU, Cezar, Conceptul de proiectare în învățâmântul de arhitectură, Institutul de Arhitectură, 1971.
ZEVI, Bruno, Cum să înțelegem arhitectura: studiu asupra interpretării arhitecturii ca spațiu, Foreword by Gh. Curinschi, translation from Italian and commentaries by Cezar Lăzărescu, Sanda Șora, Lucian Gherleter, Editura Tehnică, Bucharest, 1969.
 


BIBLIOGRAPHY


The personal archives of Răzvan Lăzărescu, Cezar Lăzărescu’s son, who settled in Paris.