Paucescu House is a historical monument with a controversial architecture situated in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. The building is a mixture of old and new, brick and glass and is a testimony of more than a century of Romanian history.
Photo source: traveldudes.org
Some citizens claim that the entire restoration of the building under its original form would have been a proof of respect for the Romanian history and for the national patrimony. Others believe that the restoration of the house is a daring modern architecture with a subtle metaphor of time passing.
The controversy is deepened as the house is the actual headquarter of the Union of Romanian Architects in Bucharest.
The house was built in the middle of the 19th century in the French Renaissance style. The graceful, refined architectural style of the French and Italian Renaissance was in great vogue during that epoch not only in Bucharest, but around the country.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the presence of French-inspired buildings and the rich literary and artistic life in Bucharest gave the city the name of “Little Paris”.
Photo source: rezistenta.net
Some parts of the house’s history are still unknown.
Paucescu House belonged to Păucescu Grigorie (1842-1897) who was a lawyer and politician, member of the Conservative Party. He wanted his home to be in the political center of the city, near the Royal Palace. The residence was spreading on a vast area and had several outbuildings.
Păucescu Grigorie was a great lover of literature and art and he had many artists and writers friends. It’s no wonder that his house became the meeting place of the elite at the end of the century.
Some parts of the house were demolished in 1914 to build the Royal Foundation, an edifice dedicated to the university elite. Today on the same area, where once the Royal Foundation was built, there is the Central University Library of Bucharest.
Before the First World War, Păucescu House served as the headquarter of the Austro-Hungarian Embassy. During the communist period, it has been the seat of the communist Security’s 5th Directorate.
During the Revolution in 1989, the house was burned and completely destroyed inside as it was thought that it hides terrorists. Only the exterior walls remained testimony of the events. Over time, many voices said that the walls of the house kept secrets of the most feared department of the Security, the 5th Division, but no proof has been found and this ideas remains just a rumor.
In 1990, the building went to the Union of Romanian Architects in Bucharest, but was already a ruin. For 10 years the building remained a ruin. As a historical monument the house couldn’t be demolished. Consequently, in 2003 it has been strengthened, and behind it was built a tower of steel and glass. According to the architects, the intervention was managed with tact and respect for the historical monument.
The building has 7 floors, measures 28 metres and respects the urban rules allowed in the area. The modern twist makes Paucescu’s house unique and easy to remark.
What is your opinion about this architectural combination?
Photo credit: Monica Murgu
Photo credit: Monica Murgu
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