History of Architecture

    Art-Deco Architecture
    In order to tone down modernism and, at the same time, given the syncretism generally characteristic of the modern development of Romanian architecture, mention must be made of Art Deco architecture, which is present throughout the interwar period with numerous and remarkable achievements. The Art Deco phenomenon, a descendant of both modernism and monumental classicism, designates a moment in the movement to modernise the eclecticism of the Beaux-Arts as well as the birth date of a luxurious and exuberant form of architecture representative of the capitalist success. Combining in an easily intelligible fashion elements derived from the language of modernism and from technological achievements with purely decorative aims, following a predominantly academic syntax, Art Deco architecture is consequently one perfectly suitable to the Romanian context during this period. Buildings such as the Bucharest Telephone Palace (Van Saanen-Algy, Louis Week, Walter Froy), the Palace of the Society of the city hall clerks in Bucharest  (Ioan Roşu, Radu Culcer), the new wing of the North Station, the court house in Ştirbei Vodă Street (E. Nădejde, E. Cusnenco), the urban block comprising a theatre, the city hall and shops in Amzei Square (N. Georgescu), the “Ambassador” and “Union” hotels (Arghir Culina), the Palace of the Central Social Insurance House (Ioan Ionescu), many residential buildings (such as those in 15 and 66 Dacia Boulevard, designed by Jean Monda), all situated in Bucharest, the “King Ferdinand” University Athenaeum (G. Cristinel), the museum of the Classical Studies Institute in Cluj, the prefecture in Satu-Mare (Victor Smighelschi), etc. – all are typical and fine-quality examples of an architectural style blending several trends of its age.

Ana-Maria Zahariade