RDW

A CADILLAC WITH HORNS

Nature is the common denominator. But where is that Nature we all dream about? Most of it is dead, literally speaking, or carefully preserved in recreational parks, which are nothing else but designed coffins for the same dead Nature. Nature is our root, but this root is either covered by a thick layer of cement, or carefully preserved, between high fences, in recreational “oases”. As I said, we are not living life today, we are only visiting it.

Migration…Exodus…Hope

The current issue of the magazine tries to conduct a short survey on architects’ moves to and from the Romanian Principalities down the ages, as the beginning of our erudite architecture is mainly due to the presence of the foreign architects who came in these parts in several stages and flows: the Catalan Xavier Villacrosse, the Swiss Johann Schlatter, the Germans Joseph Weltz, Conrand Schink, Johann Veit, Gustav Freywald, Anton Heft and Luigi Lipizer, the French Michel Saint-Jourand, the Austrian Friederich Hartmann and the Czech Marin Kubelka.

THE ARCHITECTURE COMPETITION THEN AND NOW

(…)The architecture competition was not only the opportunity for design exercises based on real themes or for a selection of projects and architects, but also an occasion for personal reflection and an exercise of architectural criticism (…)

I regret I cannot afford anymore to enter open competitions

A competition, in order to be done with the dedication it deserves, requires a serious financial effort and the commitment of enough time and work force. This is not easy for our firm as we are all involved in the tough deadlines of the contracted projects. An architectural competition implies great effort and creativity and is important in the professional evolution of any architect.

Un certain regard…

My very first confrontation with Romanian heritage started already in the night of the 20th September, arriving late in the fortress. This gigantic complex impresses any visitor as a monumental relict of former confrontations at the European East-side.

THE ORIGINS OF ARCHITECTURE

The 20th century brings along the explosion of the traditional concept of art and the possibility to extend the term to any object through the mere designation as such by a person or a group. “La fontaine” (urinal) by Marcel Duchamp – refused at the Society of Independent Artists’ Salon in New York in 1917 – becomes an art paradigm in the ‘60s.

WHY AN ISSUE DEDICATED TO ORADEA?

Oradea, the “bridge-city”, connects two worlds, two cultural “tectonic plates”: the Western and the Easter one. At different historical moments, Oradea was close to the Hungarian royalty and the Viennese Court, under the Turkish rule, and finally joined Greater Romania, in flourishing or totalitarian times. Nevertheless, it has always tried to progress and develop economically, culturally and commercially. Oradea is a possible reply to the theme “Living together”, which is extremely relevant and topical in the European context.

Gesamtkunstwerk. Storck House Artists` Home. A Visitor’s Impression

The German word that has gained currency per se illustrates, besides its relatively familiar origins, an array of simultaneous tendencies in European art and spirituality dating earlier than the beginning of the 19th century, when a German philosopher coined the concept designated by Gesamtkunstwerk.

THE NATIONAL ARCHITECTURE BIENNIAL Thirteenth edition ”100 Years of Architecture in Romania”

The National Architecture Biennial is the most important event of the architectural profession which has been organized uninterruptedly (since 1994) by the Union of Architects in Romania.
The concept of the Biennial is well defined for each edition. It is proposed by the board of the Union of Architects in Romania, being structured as a cultural program with a complex content and attracting great interest from both participants and general public.

Aiming to redefine the cinema project

The cinema architecture is probably one of the mostly affected fields by the economic changes of the last decades. The decline and degradation of cinemas or, on the contrary, their revival, are certainly symptomatic for the vitality of a city. The outlined projects emphasize this idea through the importance attached to the urban dimension. Architects are fully aware that, irrespective of the cultural space under consideration, the film and its privileged manifestation space, the cinema, need to hold a prominent place within the city and to be easily identifiable, revealing monumentality or a sign of modernism

An essay-project for a „perfectly ordinary” house or how to steal an hour’s living every day

This is not a project designed by an architect who thinks he knows all the answers or drawing on a philosophy able to withstand the whole world.
This house has nothing special, no innovative building details, no high-tech know-how, no avant-garde approach: the structure is conventional, the materials are inexpensive, the building technique is rather primitive than modern, entirely based on the builder’s ability and skill. The importance of the project does not transcend the limits of its location; it is neither a prominent investment nor an engineering accomplishment.

Co-operative Housing in Zürich, Switzerland. Introverted Urbanity

In Western Europe, a contemporary approach appealing to a wide audience is communal or community housing, namely the revival of an older formula as a variant of the so-called cluster apartments (e.g.: several small-sized apartments with the bedrooms and the bathroom grouped around a common space, generous in terms of surface and atmosphere). Widely debated in the past decade, this housing model has a dynamics that can no longer be ignored in some European countries.

„Build a house the way you like!”

„Build a house the way you like” – this was the theme of the architecture competition in Dumbrava Vlăsiei that we were invited to participate at; the only constraints were the local urban planning regulation and a budget limit. For an architect, this is the kind of moment he had been always dreaming about, but when it finally comes, he surprisingly realizes that the absence of impositions results into a deceptive trap.

FLEXIBILITY IN SUPPORT OF Functional Mix

The project is the result of an accumulation of constraints and permanent negotiations among all the parties involved: developer, builders, public authorities, designers.

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