CRITICAL REVIEW

Architecture historians consider Virginia Andreescu Haret to be the first female architect with a degree (earned in 1919) in our country. Her professional activity is impressive, which entitles us to consider her one of the most prolific creators in architecture. However, the testimony of architect Henrieta Delavrancea Gibory amends the label applied to Virginia, that of first Romanian female architect, since this actually belongs to Ada Zăgănescu (1889-1976), who was not very active.
Virginia Andreescu Haret manages to impress both through the number of her works, and the fact that she easily transitioned from the eclectic style to the Neo-Romanian style, while creating her own residential building in Art Deco style. 
(Oana Marinache, 2016)
 


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    BIOGRAPHY

    (June 9/21, 1894, Bucharest - 1962)
     
    Academic/specialized studies
    1912-1919 - the Superior School of Architecture in Bucharest; she got a special degree, with the support of minister Spiru C. Haret; she was admitted in 1912 and graduated the Superior School of Architecture in Bucharest on July 6, 1919, with the mention ’’well done’’, thus becoming the first female architect in Romania.
    ? - She studied in arch. Petre Antonescu’s workshop.
    ? - She also attended the Fine Arts School in Bucharest.
    1921-1922 - She got a specialization in Rome.
    Through the Society of Romanian Architects, she took part in international congresses in Brussels, Rome, Paris, Moscow and Berlin, where she was sent by the institution.
     
    Teaching (disciples and influences)
    An essential component of her career was teaching young female architects in educational institutions. She was part of the permanent committees in technical education, worked at the House of Schools and was a teacher in the technical schools of the Ministry of Constructions.
     
    Public activity: affiliations, administrative positions, committees
    1918-1921 - She worked for the Historical Monuments Commission;
    1921-1947 - She worked for the Ministry of Public Education;
    ? - The highest office she held within the ministry was that of inspector-general in architecture;
    1947-1951 - She collaborated with A.G.I.R.
    1953 - Became member of the Union of Romanian Architects.
     
    Other relevant information
    She was painter Ion Andreescu’s niece and the daughter of the painter’s brother. Virginia Andreescu was born in 1894 in Bucharest and in 1928 she married Spiru C. Haret’s nephew and his sister’s son. They had a son, Eng. Radu Haret.
    She created many graphic artworks, many drawings, water colours, and her paintings are now in the Romanian Academy.
     


    PROJECTS


    COMPLETED PROJECTS

    Architectural projects
    1922 - Building for ’’Construcţia Modernă” Society, 50-56 Frumoasă Street, at the corner of Calea Victoriei (among her first works, executed together with I. Pompilian);
    She designed over 130 works, including:
    1923 - Design and execution of works on Tinerimea română block of flats, Schitu Măgureanu Blvd., Bucharest;
    1923 - Villa, 43 Paris Street, Bucharest;
    1924 - The wing towards Șerban Vodă Street of ’’Gheorghe Șincai” Highschool, Bucharest;
    1925 - Elementary school in Socola, Iași;
    1926 - Spătarului Alley;
    1926 - 17-21 Petru Rareș;
    1926 - ’’Dimitrie Cantemir” Highschool, Dacia Blvd., Bucharest;
    1926 - Block of Society for Cheap Housing in Rosetti Square, on the corner of Hristo Botev Street, Bucharest;
    1928 - Theatre-cinema in Govora;
    1929 - 41 Dacia, Bucharest;
    ? - Personal building on 14 Ana Ipătescu Blvd. (now Lascăr Catargiu)
    1931 - Normal school for girls, in Bârlad, including a boarding house, gym, and annexes;
    1932 - Villa on Castanilor Blvd. in Târgoviște;
    1932 - 18 Eroilor, Bucharest;
    1933 - Commercial school in Traian street, Bucharest, 2 storeys, interior decorations and festivity hall;
    1933 - Girls highschool in Focșani;
    1934 - Lucia and Dr. G. Mândrescu house, 28 Republicii Street, former Lahovari-Giurgiu;
    ? - ’’Domnița Rucsandra” Girls Highschool in Botoșani, extensions and various decorations;
    1933-1934 - Radu and Elena Perianu, 18 Kalinderu Blvd.;
    1934 - Ghencea church, Calea 13 Septembrie, Bucharest;
    1935 - Panait Mazilu house, 76 Popa Savu, Bucharest;
    1936 - Constantinescu house, 17 Bitoliei Street, Bucharest;
    1937 - Villa on Furnica Street in Sinaia;
    ? - 5B Madrid Street;
    ? - Povernei Street;
    ? - Dr. Obedenaru Street (Cotroceni);
    ? - Vocational school in Ploiești, extensions and decorations;
    1936-1937 - Dumitru Stoica house on Veronica Micle Street;
    ? - The Faculty of Medicine in Bucharest (power plant, water pavilion, anatomy museum) and the Centre for Anthropological Research
    ? - Other educational buildings in Pitești, Tecuci, Cluj-Napoca, Făgăraș, Ploiești;
    ? - Standard projects for primary schools with 2, 3, 4 and 7 classrooms, in different versions, with and without gym and headmaster’s residence, which were built throughout the country;
    ? - Weather station and office pavilion in Băneasa;
    ? - Warehouses and houses for Banca Viticolă;
    ? - On DN1, between Comarnic and Sinaia, she designed three commemorative fountains;
    Note: Street names and numbers might not be accurate, as the research is based on old documents.

    Competitions. Awards and distinctions
    ? - 2nd prize, project for a new wing at the Ministry of State Domains in Bucharest (project not completed);
    ? - 1st prize, Făgăraș Spa (project not completed);
    ? - 2nd prize, boarding house for the Vocational School in Năsăud village (project not completed);
    ? - Stamp competition for a factory’s management board.
     
    Editorial activity
    Over time she collaborated with Editura Tehnică (research for the three volumes of Manualul arhitectului proiectant, published by Radu Gheorghe and Traian Chițulescu în 1954) and Editura Arta.
    Her articles give priority to feminist issues, beginning with the 3rd decade of the 20th century, when she started collaborating with specialized magazines. She also worked with Arch. Nicolae Ghyka-Budești on the ample work Evoluţia arhitecturii în Muntenia şi Oltenia (1930) and published articles in Arhitectura magazine (no. 12/1938, pp. 5-12) and Artele Frumoase magazine. During the last years of her life, she wrote the monography: Istoricul clădirii Teatrului Național din București.
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Primary sources:
    B.A.R. mss., Spiru C. Haret fund, eng. Radu Haret
    U.A.Rmember card in the archives of the institution
    Arhitectura magazine no.5/1976, pp.33-41
     Artele Frumoase, 1923

    Webography
    http://arhitectura-1906.ro/2013/06/virginia-haret-cine-are-ceva-de-spus/
    http://adevarul.ro/news/bucuresti/foto-virginia-andreescu-haret-femeie-arhitect-romania-i-1_516d8939053c7dd83f15d8cf/index.html
    http://adevarul.ro/news/bucuresti/virginia-andreescu-haret-statia-meteo-baneasa-blocul-tinerimea-romana-1_51740ca6053c7dd83f306c3c/index.html
    http://arhivadearhitectura.ro/arhitecti/virginia-haret/
    http://www.zf.ro/ziarul-de-duminica/virginia-andreescu-haret-prima-femeie-arhitect-din-romania-i-de-emanuel-badescu-galerie-foto-11129062/poze/
    http://www.zf.ro/ziarul-de-duminica/virginia-andreescu-haret-prima-femeie-arhitect-din-romania-ii-de-emanuel-badescu-galerie-foto-11151251/poze/
    http://virginiaharet.blogspot.ro/