I’ve always been fascinated with the charm of interwar houses. If it’s anything absolutely mesmerising about Bucharest, it’s the Belle Époque architecture you often pass by in the city’s old streets - reminders of a golden age filled with unending love for beauty and design.
What draws me to these houses is an insatiable desire to imagine their stories. Or maybe it’s my love for history - especially for the times of kings and queens, when all the forms of beauty were sovereign.
Abandoned houses built during the interwar period, which have not yet been touched by renovation, keep me in contact with a beautiful, parallel dimension that I’m constantly longing for. It’s one of my favourite forms of time travel.
Whenever I pass by beautiful, old houses in ruin - like this one in Rosetti Street, I ‘m not just observing their architecture and design. I`m also thinking about what life must have been like inside their walls.
I’m eager to recompose the story of the people who lived there. How they dressed and sat at the dinner table. How they threw parties, had fights, celebrated success or licked their wounds of defeat (maybe). It’s like an invitation to a one-on-one conversation - only it’s not someone in flesh and blood that speaks to me, it’s the house itself telling its story. All I do is just watch, listen and ask questions in the back of my mind.
I always find myself wondering about what life must have been like inside these walls... and almost everytime ... the house reveals itself to me telling its story.
I also wonder about the kind of art they would have in there - paintings on the walls, sculptures and everything. And, of course, the architect in me cannot help himself - each and every time, I ask myself how I would design that space and which pieces of my work would naturally blend in there.
The beauty of this jewel in Rosetti Street is transcendent. The space it takes and offers to anyone who steps in is so generous. It lets you breathe fully and rest your eyes - allowing your mind to wander freely. I’m the man who needs space. To me, space is the ultimate luxury.
I absolutely loved its high ceilings and large, welcoming rooms. Nevermind their washed off walls. You can still tell those rooms were vivid in colour. You can still tell they had massive pieces of furniture and alluring paintings on the walls. You can still tell you could hold your space and breathe freely.
... the architect in me cannot help ask himself: how would I design this space ? ...
I couldn’t keep my eyes of the little stucco works left either. I love their details, not just because they do not get me bored. But also because they remind me of how man’s search for beauty moved and evolved from plain clay huts to sophisticated architectures with refined elements of design and art.
I didn’t expect to find what was left off a luxurious chandelier. It was just sitting there, waiting for someone to bring it back to life and let it shine over the abundant space. Naturally, the painter in me wondered about how it would shine over the paintings on those walls.
The staircase made me think of all the charming ladies of those times, carrying themselves up and down the stairs in their elegant clothes. As I walked in, I wondered how men would dress up in those days for this charming invitation.
And as I left, I knew I had taken yet another dose of inspiring times, stories, design and architectures - that may be invisible or intimidating to many - but not to me.
I love the stucco works... they remind me of how man’s search for beauty moved and evolved from plain clay huts to sophisticated architectures...