As a prominent figure of the Bucharest society in the first half of the 20th, the architect Ernest Doneaud deserves to be brought to the attention of the specialized public and of the architectural heritage enthusiasts.
It is possible that his name of a French resonance to have caused his personality and activity to be erased from the history of the city and of several monuments. Returning in 1907 from Paris with an architecture degree, his activity was divided between the job at the City Hall and the private requests offered by doctors, politicians, professional servicemen. His career also began and gained momentum because of his support for the liberal politician, the Mayor of the city, Vintila Bratianu (1867-1930), the creator of the Cheap Housing Society and of the first plotting of Lanariei str., as well as of the Govora-Calimanesti Society. On one hand, the collaboration with the architects Dimitrie Maimarolu (1859-1926) and Paul Smarandescu (1881-1945) caused Doneaud to win important prizes in contests but, on the other hand, his outstanding buildings, such as the Military Circle interiors and the Maternity in Iasi helped him win as well.
The first period of his activity bears the imprint of the eclectic architecture of the French School, designing various emblematic mansions, in regards to the tastes of the Bucharest elite of the first quarter of the 20th century. The national style elements can be rarely noticed in his buildings, and names such as Visarion Church, Zaharoff Villa, Strajescu Villa and Royal Palace Hotel are worth to be mentioned.
The second period of his career fits into the modernist movement, adopting even Art Deco elements, the representative building, both through its central placement on Magheru Blvd., as well as through its proportions, being the Lido Palace, transformed into a Hotel.
His activity as an architect and an urban planner of the ‘30s is completed by his active presence in the "Modern Building" Society, he himself being its president since 1933. Doneaud finished his career in the public service in 1942 at the city hall of the Serban Voda and Baneasa sub-urban municipalities. (Oana Marinache, 2015)
(Bucharest, May 22nd 1879 - Bucharest, December 22nd 1959)
? - He studied at The Schewitz-Thierrin Institute for Boys on str. Scaune, Bucharest.
1899 - Professor Edmond Jean Baptiste Paulin’s workshop, Paris.
1901 - The National and Special School of Fine Arts, Architecture Department, 2nd class, Paris;
1905 - The National and Special School of Fine Arts, Architecture Department, 1st class, Paris;
Professional activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees):
1907 - Diplomat architect and a member of the French S.A.D.G.;
since 1907 - Chief-architect of the technical service of the Bucharest City Hall;
1914-1916 - He works for the Ministry of War during World War I;
1925 - Member of the Romanian Society of Diplomat Architects;
? - Member of the administrative council and a delegated administrator of the "Modern Building" Society; starting with the year 1933 he became its president;
1927 - A corresponding member of the Town Planners Society in Romania;
1932-1936 - Member of the Systematization of the Capital Committee, later being appointed as an architect by the Superior Technical Council;
1941-1942 - Deputy Mayor of the suburban municipalities Baneasa and Serban Voda;
1953 - Retired, U.A.R. member, he collaborates as a referent architect to the I.S.P.R. (Ernest Doneaud registers between April 3rd and April 10th 1953 in the Union of Architects in Romania and he obtains his membership card with the no. 205 on November 30th).
Urban planning and landscape projects:
May 23rd 1932 - Ernest Doneaud is appointed in Systematization of the Capital Committee by the Mayor Dem. I. Dobrescu;
February 12th 1934 - A meeting took place in which the foundation methods for the future Bucharest Systematization Plan were established, in the presence of: Em. Dan, the general Mayor, prof. eng. insp. gral. Cincinat Sfintescu, prof. eng. insp. gral. Al. Davidescu, arch. E. Doneaud, arch. Octav Doicescu, arch. E. Lazarescu, arch. R. Bolomey, arch. G. M. Cantacuzino, prof. arch. Statie Ciortan, prof. arch. C. Smarandescu, prof. arch. insp. gral. Petre Antonescu, eng. G. Cerkez , arch. Duiliu Marcu;
September 19th 1936 - Ernest Doneaud becomes part of the Work Committee of the Systematization Plan that develops the Zoning Panel;
December 1st1936 - He is appointed as an architect by the Superior Technical Council.
1908-1910 - The Lanariei Parcel, Bucharest;
1909 - Maria and Alex. Duca house, Bucharest;
1909 - The Maternity in Iasi, with Arch. Paul Smarandescu, Iasi;
1910-1911 - N. Filitis Villa;
1910-1913 - Visarion Church, Bucharest;
1910-1914 - Palace Hotel, Govora;
1911-1912 - The Grand Hotel in Calimanesti;
1912-1914 - The Cinema Pavilion in Ostrov;
1914 - The Central Bath Pavilion, Govora;
1910-1911 - eng. Stroescu’s villa;
1911 - Dr. Rautoiu Family villa;
1911 - Dr. I. Nanu-Muscel villa;
1911 - Constantin Coanda villa;
1912 - A. Danescu-Cretu-Voicu villa;
1912 - G. Desliu villa;
1912 - Zaharoff villa;
1912 - George Cerkez villa;
1913 - Personal dwelling, Magheru Blvd., Bucharest;
1915 - Benedict Martin building;
1921-1923 - Personal and nearby dwellings, str. Episcopiei nr. 2-6, Bucharest;
before 1923 - Palace Hotel, Bucharest;
1912 - Palace of Justice (project), Ploiesti, realized between 1924-1933, with arch. Toma T. Socolescu, today the Palace of Culture, Ploiesti;
1928-1930 - Lido Palace/Hotel;
1928-1930 - Adina Strajescu villa;
1931 - Constantin Radulescu-Motru building;
1931 - Personal villa, Str. Roma nr. 44, Bucharest;
1935-1936 - Col. Jak Popescu building, Bucharest.
1912-1923 - The Military Circle, interior designs, Bucharest.
Projects of funeral monuments:
approx. 1909 - Staicovici Volt, Bellu Cemetery, Bucharest.
Public forum monuments:
1921 - The Last Guardsmen of the Capital, Bucharest.
1908-1909 - The hydrotherapy pavilion in Slanic Moldova, with Arch. Paul Smarandescu.
1911-1912, 1925 - The Palace of the Senate, with Arch. D. Maimarolu.
1910 - Ernest Doneaud’s project realized in collaboration with the one of the French architect Jacques Louis René Carlu (1890-1976) won first prize at the Senate Contest.
Oana Marinache, Ernest Doneaud, visul liniei, Editura Istoria Artei, Bucuresti, 2015 (pending publication).
Oana Marinache, Traseu urban Ernest Doneaud, Editura Istoria Artei, Bucuresti, 2013.
Carmen Popescu, Le style national roumain, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, Editura Simetria, 2004, p. 180, p. 191, p. 256.
Cristina Woinaroski (coord.), Lotizarea si Parcul Ioanid, the history of two important villas in Ioanid Park: the Danescu Villa and the Desliu Villa, written by the art historians Ramona Caramelea and Cerasela Barbone, Editura Simetria, Bucuresti, 2007
Articles in periodicals:
Andrei Pippidi, in: "Dilema Veche", Nr. 417, 9-15 February 2012.
Razvan Voinea si Dana Dolghin,