History of Architecture

    The Interlude of Socialist-Realism
    In the late 1940s, politics imposed (what’s more, by Constitution) socialist-realism, the artistic slogan of Stalinism, interrupting for a few years both the modernist new impetus that the younger generation was trying to impose, and the more moderate tradition of the previous generation. However, socialist-realist architecture (Stalinist) has not left overwhelming physical marks. One way or another, investments are not particularly large, except for the polygraphic factory Casa Scânteii, designed after a model in Moscow by a group that included many of the promising young people of the moment (arch. Horia Maicu, head of the group). But not even the size of Casa Scânteii is as overwhelming as the testimonies left by Stalinism in other countries.
    In housing construction, the Decision of the Council of Ministers of November 1952 imposed the Soviet formula of blocks, putting an end to any other experiments. But these apartment blocks (housing spaces or low height housing suites for multiple families) have not become overwhelming through their sheer size and number (some projects were not completed). Moreover, embedded in the tissue and existing road alignment, they do not disturb the traditional order of the city.
    Stylistically, however, socialist-realism undermined the modernist pursuit ("stigmatized" as decadent), determining an artificial comeback to the classical vocabulary, sometimes interpreted literally („înfrăţirea între popoare” cinema , Bucharest, arch. Nicolae Porumbescu - 1953 ), sometimes more or less allusive or scenic (Olăneşti sanatorium house, arch. Gheorghe Pătraşcu, Liliana Dinescu - 1950, Romanian Opera House, arch. O. Doicescu; "23 August" summer theater, arch. P. Em. Miclescu D. Marinescu - all in 1953; the apartment blocks in Hunedoara or Drumul Sării, Cotroceni, Căţelu, in Bucharest etc.). At the same time, by pursuing the "national form" of the "new content", this period shows obvious continuity patterns with the national interwar direction, albeit under a different rhetoric, which is also reflected in architectural theory.

Ana-Maria Zahariade