Bucharest: Art Deco and the Central Boulevards

Bucharest, Romania
Est. 3.9km / 1 hr 18 mins

Bucharest: Art Deco and the Central Boulevards - Cya On The Road

The Art Deco and the Central Boulevards itinerary follows the configuration of a new urban framework for a modern society of the 1920s-1940s. The 13 selected buildings make up a part of the most important examples of Art Deco architecture in Bucharest, contributing to the modern image of the boulevards Magheru, Bălcescu and Carol I, as well as of the historical areas adjacent to these boulevards.During the Interwar period, Art Deco architecture played a major role in the creation of the image of the central area of Bucharest as we know it today. Its contribution comes in a late stage of a lengthy process.During the final decades of the 19th century and, later, in the years leading up to World War One, in the Medieval tissue of the Capital were cut the great boulevards that still structure the central area. Once they were traced, along these new arteries rose buildings with a diverse architecture, from French Eclecticism to the Neo-Romanian style. However, around World War One, many of the lots were either free, or occupied by older buildings that were waiting to be replaced. This situation was especially characteristic for Magheru Boulevard, between Piața Romană and C.A. Rosetti Street, the youngest of the new boulevards. In the interwar period, Magheru Boulevard was extended towards the South, up to Piața Universității and, later, Piața Unirii. The boulevards were joined by their adjacent areas, far too valuable to not be included in this process of modernization.In this context of feverish building activity, Art Deco architecture enjoyed great popularity. Adopted by the Bucharest society as a more cordial, more tempered version of Modernism, the Art Deco aesthetic left a deep mark on this effervescent phase of modernization.The itinerary starts from the northern end of Magheru Boulevard. The first building, the Palace of the Romanian Red Cross,inaugurated in 1927, is also the oldest of the buildings included in the itinerary, illustrating an early version of the Deco style. Then, the itinerary reaches Piața Amzei where, in the mid 1930s, the old commercial hall was replaced by the Communal Municipal Block: a monumental building that has hosted a wide variety of functions, in a unique formula in the Capital. The Hilton Hotel, to which are tied many good stories of the Bucharest world, is included in the itinerary as an example of the late phase of Art Deco architecture. Located on the boulevard, the hotels Ambasador and Lido are representative for the modernity of the newest of the central urban ensembles of Interwar Bucharest. Then, the Palace of the Telephone Company, an iconic building back in the day, is famous for the radical way in which it has marked the image of the old Calea Victoriei, replacing the patriarchal Oteteleșanu Terrace with the dizzying silhouette of an American skyscraper. Placed face to face, the hotels Negoiu and Union were recommended back in the day as two of the most luxurious hotels of the Capital. The itinerary continues with the Palace of the Bucharest Municipal Officers’ Society, now the ARCUB headquarters, one of the most beautiful and refined examples of Bucharest Art Deco. Nearby, the headquarters of the Regional Directorate General of Public Finances appears as a loneoutpost of modernization in the old tissue of the city. The itinerary ends with the Palace of the Central Social Insurance Company, a building that, in order to reveal its most beautiful details, asks the passersby to lift their gaze and to slow their pace along the boulevard.Bucharest: Modernism Art Deco 2.0 – Art Deco and the Central Boulevards, an igloo project, co-financed by AFCN, connects, explores and captures the reality of the city from a Modernist Art Deco perspective. Colophon: Project manager: Adrian Ciocăzanu; Creative Director: Dragoș Dogaru; Architectural Consultant: Mihaela Criticos; Editor in chief: Françoise Pamfil; Editorial secretary: Andreea Amzoiu; Text and research: Diana Mihnea; English version: Anca Rotar; Photographs: Arthur Țințu, Dragoş Dogaru.  

by B:MAD (Bucharest: Modernism Art Deco)
B:MAD is an instrument for the knowledge and discovery of Bucharest, namely one of its multiple facets, Art Deco Modernism.

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