The construction of the House of the Republic, now the Palace of Parliament, the first largest building in Europe and the second largest in the world, is connected with the name of architect Anca Petrescu. With ambition and tenacity, at the age of 29, she succeeded in winning the contest for the People’s House (this was its original name). If we look at the first architectural model made for the 1978 presentation, we realize that so many modifications were made to the building, that we no longer recognize it. From the initial modern volumetry, opening into the ’’Victory of Socialism’’ Boulevard, unrestrained by fencing, they got to the existing ’’palace’’, surrounded by an ’’embarrassing’’ fence. The author endured for 11 years all the random changes imposed by the ruling family, who asked for ’’aberrant architectural models’’, executed at a scale of 1:1 for columns, capitals, facade openings, etc. Anca Petrescu worked on the project of this building with many young enthusiastic architects, eager to assert themselves, most of them trainees, but also with many professionals from the design institutes in Bucharest who coordinated large teams of architects.
(Mariana Croitoru, 2017)
(Sighişoara, 20 March 1949 – Bucharest, 30 October 2013)
Teaching (disciples and influence)
1967-1973 - ’’Ion Mincu” Architecture Institute (IAIM), Bucharest. Her thesis focused on a megastructure with a cultural function on the Arsenal Hill, thesis supervisor Prof. Arch. Octav Doicescu.
Public/professional activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees)
1974-1977 - Designing activity within Montaj Construction Centre, Bucharest.
1991 – She founded S.C. Anca House S.R.L. design firm
- Advisor of the Club Med President for tourist constructions.
- Chalet la Megève, France.
- She was a member of the Order of French Architects.
1991 - Exhibitions in Brussels and Paris with the design plans of the House of the Republic.
1997 – She participated in Berlin, at the invitation of the German Senate, in the conference cycle on the remodelling of Berlin’s central area. She presented the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest.
2004-2008 - Deputy in the Parliament of Romania.
Functions and activities carried out as a Member:
- Vice President of the Foreign Policy Commission.
- President of the Romanian-Japanese Friendship Group in the Romanian Parliament.
- Member of the Romanian-French Friendship Group of the Romanian Parliament.
- Member of the Romanian-Moroccan Friendship Group in the Romanian Parliament.
- She took part in the monthly meetings of the Assembly of Western European Union (AUEO) based in Paris. She spoke as vice president of the Foreign Policy Commission.
- Candidate running for Mayor in Bucharest Sector 1, in 2008.
- Legislative initiatives and speeches in the meetings of the Parliament of Romania.
1977-1978 – She took part, with her own team, in the national competition organized by Nicolae Ceauşescu for creating a new Civic Centre in Bucharest, in the area of Arsenal Hill –Unirii Square – Vitan. Initial participants – 14 teams. Only two teams made it to the final: those led by Anca Petrescu and Cezar Lăzărescu. The approved representative areas were those in the architectural model designed by Anca Petrescu’s team.
1979 – She designed a first project for the House of the Republic, competing with Carpați Design Institute.
1980 – She drafted the project for a Cultural Centre on the site she had proposed herself in the systematization model approved in 1978, when she was appointed to work within Bucharest Institute of Design. The work was not executed. Later on, the National Library was erected here.
1980 – She executed an extensive project for the systematization of the downtown area in the town of Sighişoara that had been damaged by flood in 1970 and 1975. The project plan was shown, and an architectural model at a scale of 1:200 was displayed for the public, first at Tg. Mureş City Hall, then in Bucharest, competing with IPJ Mureş version. The project was not completed because right at that moment county investments ceased for quite a long period of time. Subsequently, IPJ Mureş was asked to resume the project, and used parts of the work presented by Anca Petrescu.
1981 - Following the contest initiated by Nicolae Ceaușescu for project ideas for the House of the Republic, she executed, on her own, two versions, presented at a scale of 1:200, which were displayed alongside the projects of 8 other architects.
1981-1982 – There were several other stages in the competition, and the remaining 8 teams were reunited under Cezar Lăzărescu’s supervision; eventually Ancăi Petrescu’s version won the contest.
1983 – Following a presidential decree, Anca Petrescu was appointed head of project of the House of the Republic. The edifice would house the headquarters of the Central Committee, the State Council and the Council of Ministers.
1983-1989 – She directed and coordinated the design of the House of the Republic (for a short period of several months it was called the ’’People’s House’’, a name quickly abandoned). As head of project, she managed and supervised the projects for the design of the outer platforms of the House of the Republic.
1988 – She designed the plans for the fountains on the axis of Unirii Blvd. and Unirii Square.
1991 - Following a Government Resolution, works on the House of the Republic were resumed; the function of the building was changed, and it received the name of the Palace of Parliament, housing the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate of Romania, the Constitutional Court, the Legislative Council, etc.
After 1991 (in Romania):
- CEC building in Râmnicu Vâlcea.
- CEC building in Sighişoara (abandoned).
- CEC building in Târgu Ocna.
- Individual housing projects.
- Interior architecture project for the headquarters of Prof. Iorgovan & Asociații law firm, currently Mihălcescu & Asociații.
- Apartment building, 12 Ion Cantacuzino Street.
- Hotel on Calea Şerban Vodă.
- Headquarters of the Professional Football League.
- Crystal Palace Hotel, 18-20, Cpt. Al. Șerbănescu Street, Bucharest.
1992-2000 - Anca Petrescu resumed her position as head of the project, author, and chief architect of the ensemble project, aiming to repurpose the building, according to its new functions (in 1990, about 70% of was executed).
1992-1994 – Redesigned the plenary meeting room of the Chamber of Deputies
1994-2000 – Designed the unfinished reception halls on the ground floor and first floor.
2000 - Arch. Anca Petrescu transferred author patrimonial rights to S.C. Anca House S.R.L.
2000-2013 – As project manager, through S.C. Anca House S.R.L., she executed the following projects for the Palace of Parliament:
- the plenary meeting room of the Senate of Romania;
- meeting and reception halls of the Senate of Romania;
- interior design works within a wing of E3 building that was to accommodate Senate offices and meeting halls;
- interior design works for the International Conference Centre;
- meeting room of the Constitutional Court;
- Library of the Constitutional Court;
- SELEC International Centre on the 9th and 10th floors;
- Wing E3 Gallery;
- Wing E4 Gallery;
- Setting up office spaces and archives, Wings C1 and C6;
- Multifunctional lounge, Wing C3;
- Landscaping works, East platform;
- Landscaping works, West platform;
- Refrigerating equipment room;
- AC system room automation
After 1991 (abroad):
- she designed projects for Club Med tourist ensembles, including hotels, restaurants, leisure areas in Bahamas – Columbus and Florida – Sandpiper, in collaboration with designer Gisela Trigano from Paris; work site supervision.
- Villa in Rabat for the ambassador of Morocco.
- Interior design projects for high-end apartment remodelling in Paris – 4 addresses.
Competitions. Awards and distinctions
2000 - Intellectual property patent for the Palace of Parliament project, O.S.I.M. Bucharest.
2008 - International intellectual property patent for the Palace of Parliament project.
1990-2013 – Articles and interviews published in international magazines, and 6 documentaries.
Archives of Arch. George Mărculeț.