Sunteți pe pagina 1din 21

Prof.dr.arh. Ana Maria Zahariade (n.

1949) pred teoria arhitecturii i conduce lucrri de doctorat la Universitatea de Arhitectur i Urbanism "Ion Mincu"
din Bucureti, puternic implicat n modernizarea nvmntului de arhitectur dup 1989. Cercetri teoretice, prin resurse individuale i cu ajutorul diverselor burse de cercetare naionale i internaionale obinute (Getty, Getty-NEC, CNCSIS, UAR), n direcii variate: modernismul romnesc i central european,
arhitectura romneasc sub comunism i dup, locuire i reabilitarea marilor ansambluri, precum i registrul estetic n teoria arhitecturii. Participri la multe
evenimente tiinifice n ar i n strintate. Membru n variate jurii, comitete, echipe curatoriale etc. Publicaii: numeroase articole n reviste de arhitectur
i volume colective n Romnia i n strintate; volume de autor, n coautorat i n calitate de coordonator. Ultimul titlu: Simptome de tranziie (bilingv, dou
volume, Arhitext Design, 2009, 2010). A primit dou premii naionale pentru publicaii i activitate curatorial (UAR, 1998; Margareta Sterian, 1999) i Premiul
Herder (2003, Alfred Toepfer Foundation i Universitatea din Viena) pentru activitate teoretic i activism cultural.
Prof.dr.arch. Ana Maria Zahariade (b. 1949) teaches theory of architecture and conducts doctoral theses in the "Ion Mincu" University of Architecture
and Urbanism. She was deeply involved in the post-1989 modernisation of the Romanian architectural education. Independently and through various
national and international grants (Getty, Getty-NEC, CNCSIS, UAR), she pursued theoretical researches in many directions: Romanian and East European
modernism, Romanian architecture under and after Communism, housing and housing rehabilitation, and on the aesthetic concepts in the theory of
architecture. She contributed to various national and international scientific events, and participated in juries, committees, curatorial teams, etc. She has
published numerous articles in architectural magazines and collective volumes in Romania and abroad. She has authored, co-authored and coordinated a
number of architectural books. The latest title she has published: Symptoms of Transition (bilingual, two volumes, Arhitext Design, 2009, 2010). She is the
recipient of two national awards for publications and curatorial activity (UAR, 1998; Margareta Sterian, 1999) and of the 2003 Herder Prize (Alfred Toepfer
Foundation and the University of Vienna) for her theoretical work and cultural activism.

Fotografiile din acest volum au doar rolul de a da o imagine foarte general a peisajului arhitectural al perioadei; marea majoritate sunt scanate din revista
Arhitectura i au explicaii minime. Nu sunt menionate n text dect excepiile, fotografiile inedite care provin din arhivele personale ale prietenilor care au
avut bunvoina s m ajute de-a lungul timpului cu material documentar i crora le mulumesc cu recunotin pe aceast cale: Alexandru Beldiman,
tefan Lungu, Romeo Simira, Mariana Cel ac, precum i muli studeni pe care subiectul i-a pasionat i mi-au trimis materiale fotografice.
The photographs in this volume are only meant to give a very general visual contour of the architecturallandscape
of the period; in a large majority, they are
photocopied from the Arhitectura magazine and have minimal references. Only the exceptions to this rule are mentioned: the photographs that belong to the
personal archives of the friends who so graciously helped me aII along my researches. I gratefully thank them in this way: Alexandru Beldiman, tefan Lungu,
Romeo Simira, Mariana Celac, along with many students who showed interest in this topic and provided me with photographic material.
Editor: Mirela Duculescu
Traducere:
Englez / English version: Ana Maria Zahariade, Diana Lupu
Romn / Romanian version: Mariana Celac, Miruna Stroe, Cristian a erbnescu
Redactor limba englez / English-Ianguage editor: Alistair lan Blyth
Redactor limba romn / Romanian-Ianguage editor: Eugenia Petre
Graphic design: MB STUDIO srl. - arh. Octavian Carabela

Tiraj / Print run: 1000


ISBN 978-973-1872-17-9

SIMETRIA, Bucureti, 2011


Toate drepturile rezervate. Nici o parte din aceast publicaie nu poate fi reprodus,
mecanic, de copiere, nregistrare sau alte forme, fr permisiunea prealabil a editurii.

stocat sau transmis

AII rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted
cal, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from the copyright owner.
Cartea a aprut cu sprijinul Ordinului Arhitecilor din Romnia, din Timbrul Arhitecturii.
This book has been published with the financial support of the Chamber of Romanian Architects,

prin orice mijloace de natur electronic,

in any form by any means, electronic, mechani-

using Architecture

Stamp funds.

RINS / CONTENTS
_nainte: SCHIE PENTRU O ISTORIE CARE TREBUIE SCRIS /
~~~-v-Id: SKETCHES FOR A HISTORY IN NEED OF WRITING

,...........

- RI, VISUL COMUNIST I DACIA 1300: Fragmente de peisaj arhitectural sub comunism /
3OOKS, THE COMMUNIST DREAM AND DACIA 1300: Fragments of architectural
.cr.::::scape under Communism

r- TCERE I CUVINTE /
- =-.E CE AND WORDS

CEREA: "ARHITECTUL FERICIT" /


G THE SILENCE: "THE HAPPY ARCHITECT"
CTURA CARE NU A EXISTAT: "ARHITECTURA OCULT" /
CHITECTURE THAT DID NOT EXIST: "OCCULT" ARCHITECTURE

--

::CTUL COMUNIST N BETON - O ISTORIE A PROFESIUNII /


MMUNIST PROJECT IN CONCRETE - A HISTORY OF OUR PROFESSION

13

89

97

111

133

CUVNT NAINTE

FOREWORD

SCHIE PENTRU O ISTORIE CARE TREBUIE SCRiS

SKETCHES FOR A HISTORY IN NEED OF WRITING


(English translation:

extele cuprinse n acest volum se refer la arhitectura


perioadei comuniste.
Se bazeaz pe o cercetare
laborioas, dar departe de a fi ncheiat, i pe o emoie
nc foarte vie. Publicarea lor n acest moment poate prea
prematur. Are totui un sens; sensul pe care I are orice
ncercare de a aduce n discuie un subiect ocolit n mod
inexplicabil i de a propune o privire critic asupra lui, sau
mcar repere pentru o asemenea retrospectiv. Subiectul e
actual i pentru c I locuim: arhitectura perioadei comuniste
face parte din existena noastr cotidian i ne pune felurite
probleme, att profesionale ct i umane. Pare ns s i
intereseze mai mult pe arhitecii i cercettorii occidentali
dect pe noi. E o situaie cel puin ciudat, care ridic ntrebri
i fa de care e greu s nu ai o reacie. A mea este punerea
mpreun a rezultatelor de moment i concluziilor pariale ale
cercetrii, subintinse de ntrebrile, dubiile i temerile prin
prisma crora am ncercat s descifrez acest moment al
arhitecturii romneti. Textele - unele deja publicate n prime
forme (dar, cu excepia unuia, nu n romn), altele doar
rostite - prezint ipotezele dup care am reconstituit lumea
profesional a acestei perioade pe care am trit-o alturi de
ceilali arhiteci romni; o lume a formelor i a oamenilor,
despre care e vorba n acest volum.
Primul i cel mai dezvoltat studiu din volum, Dou cri, visul
comunist i Dacia 1300, i are originea n 2002, cnd tefan
Constantinescu, tnr artist suedez de origine romn, mi-a
propus s particip la proiectul lui, Dacia 1300 My Generation,
cu o descriere a arhitecturii perioadei comuniste. Ideea
proiectului
m-a captivat.'
Pe tefan Constantinescu
I
consuma aceast perioad din viaa noastr, dei o trise
mai puin dect mine. i pe mine m frmntau multe
ntrebri, printre care, inevitabil, cele legate de arhitectur.
Nu doar de arhitectur ca fapt construit; ncepuse s m
scie tcerea din jurul a tot ce se proiectase i construise n
perioada comunist.
Lipsa de poziie a arhitecilor ntreinea o confuzie greu
definibil, care arunca tot ce se construise dup rzboi sub
oprobiul (public?) fa de fostul regim i i lipea automat
et'cheta (difamant?)
de "arhitectur
comunist",
care
'r occa
asecoric orice judecat de valoare. O spuneau
:-~Da-;. c;2.r:>s -,,::;.8. " se vorbea
prea puin despre
::..~-:S:C:"~
'2: D2-~'OG::S c SQo~rec. .....'r s, CI": aceeai uurtate
-.~
_ = ::r:::2"'"_ .r.: :r:-e--: e=e zr ~.":.'-. -= ~ =--=...- S~::::.:'::sz-:;-=s::.-:'-s:
='__.. '5 -;.---=~::e-~-~-:::r
_-.~~.~.::c::~
~==r
__
-;s- __ -"
s:.~:::::.::::~~_:
::C:::S::2C
.=x_-e;--::=. S:-.f~ =zr sr; ;:: .r: _ c ~g. 0.0..;' i.cc.an, CIO"OIANU, Aanan,

~-=s:==-'

SANDOUIST, Tom, Archive of Pain, KONSTNRSNMNDEN,


Committee, Stockholm, 2000.

cuvNT1NAINTE

The Arts Grants

Diana Lupu)

texts in the present volume speak of the architecture of the


he
communist era. They are based on painstaking, but far from
complete, research and on a feeling that is still very vivid. Their
publication at this time might seem premature. But it does have
a meaning: it is an attempt to broach a subject that has otherwise
been inexplicably avoided and to suggest a critical perspective on
it, or at least to provide some reference points for a retrospective
look. The topic is also of interest because it is one that we still
inhabit: communist-era architecture is part of our daily lives and
confronts us with various difficulties, both professional and human.
Nevertheless, it appears to be of more interest to Western architects
and researchers than it is to us. Such a situation is, at the very
least, odd. It raises questions and it is difficult not to react to it. My
own response has been to bring together the provisional results
and partial conclusions of my research, underlain by the questions,
doubts and concerns whereby I have tried to decipher this period in
Romanian architecture. The texts - some of them already published
in earlier versions (with one exception, not in Romanian), others
having been presented only in oral form - set forth the hypotheses I
have used in order to recreate ttie professional world of this period
which I experienced together with other Romanian architects; a
world of forms and people, which will be discussed in the present
volume.
The first and most extensive study in this volume, Two Books, the
Communist Dream and Dacia 1300, dates back to 2002, when
tefan Constantinescu, a young Swedish artist of Romanian origin,
suggested that I should take part in his project, Dacia 1300 My
Generation, contributing a description of communist-era architecture. The concept of the project fascinated rne.' tefan Constantinescu was obsessed with this period in our history, although he had
experienced far less of it than I had. I was also troubled by numerous questions, includ ing, inevitably, those related to architecture,
but not confined to architecture as actually built. I was becoming
exasperated with the silence surrounding everything that had been
designed and built under communism.
The fact that architects did not take a stand perpetuated a confusion that was hard to define, and which transformed everything
built after World War Two into an object of (public?) opprobium
directed at the old regime and automatically marked it with the
(defamatory?) labei "communist architecture", which assertorically
replaced any value judgment. It was not only students, still poorly
infonmed about the architecture of that period, who said it, but also,
and with equal frivolity, public and cultural figures, as they tried to

T1S artist was following the pattern 01 a previous proiect, Archive of Pain
Cos. tefan Constantinescu, Cristi Puiu and Arina Stoenescu), where a video
wark abaut the beginnings 01 Romanian communism was accompanied by a
substantial book which historically documented that period (Lucian BOIA, Adrian
CIOROIANU, Tom SANDOUIST, Archive of Pain, KONSTNRSNMNDEN,
The
Arts Grants Committee, Stockholm, 2000; bilingual volume).

- personaliti mediatice, i oameni de cultur care navigau


ei ntr-o neateptat lips de criterii i de informare.
etea un fel de "pat aib", un anormal hiatus istoric,
acoperit numai de umbra molipsitoare a Casei Poporului,
ce continua s ne domine i n discurs. Ca i cum ar fi fost
. tesena arhitecturii din toat perioada ori singura "mare
JCfare" a lui Ceauescu (era oare?), n jurul "exotismului" ei
s-a consumat probabil cea mai mult cerneal i s-au scurs
mai multe minute televizate, cu relevan ndcielnic."
-~ spatele "Casei", 35 de ani de proiectare i construcie se
ascundeau sub tcerea arhitecilor; o tcere care lsa s se
taleze clandestin un fel de "istorie oficial". Era strbtut
=::- de ceva "preri", care mai de care mai contradictorii:
ife, afirmaii dogmatice, idiosincrazii individuale ... Le
'='leam lipsite de argumente i le resimeam nedrepte.
angajat n proiectul lui tefan Constantinescu fr
X. stau prea mult pe gnduri. Trisem cu intensitate viaa
=-~ecturii ca student (din 1967), apoi ca arhitect i ca asistent
= - Iesorulul Alifanti (un martor de seam al ntregii perioade,
- g care am avut privilegiul s m gsesc), participasem la
- :e dintre momentele dramatice ale profesiunii - destul de
_r:la.p, dar i cu relativ detaare (avusesem norocul s nu
:: ~
obligat s lucrez la proiectele anilor 1980). Aveam un
. de vedere pe care l credeam argumentat, despre cum
:-2 "cut arhitectur n perioada comunist. ncepusem deja
X. cercetez mai atent perioada; cu puin nainte, pornisem
-~
impreun cu Augustin Ioan i la presiunea lui) o "istorie"
ecturii romneti a secolului XX, proiect excesiv de

=. :;:-'-

s i euat ntr-unul dintre acele mozaicuri pe care ni


ite, poate cu prea mare uurin, postmodernltatea.'
ocazia s continui i s finalizez ceea ce ncepusem
-am terminat nici acum.
- ~

ns una dintre cele mai tulburtoare experiene din


ea profesional. ntrebrile pe care inevitabil le ridic
- . retrospectiv i noua experien m-au fcut s reiau
atenie literatura de specialitate a perioadei: cele
-'18. cri de referin i revista Arhitectura.
Recitirea lor
ai c mi-a infirmat vechi puncte de vedere, dar m-a i
_Poate c nu era dect trezirea inconfortabil dintr-un
::::euurtate binevoitoare sau de amgire (auto)indus
umesc amabil tineree?) n care trisem perioada
. t i arhitectura ei. Am apelat la civa dintre
Oi de nceput ai perioadei; m-am dus la documentele
-

"roblemele reale legate de "Cas" se discutau prea puin. Chiar i astzi,


:'i par nepregtii s o treac printr-o gril de evaluare arhitectural
==natic.
Abia concursul Bucureti 2000 a pus n discuie marile probleme
.1...,...., pe care le crea; dar concursul s-a bucurat de prea puin atenie public.
-<SE :::um. de pild, de artificializarea
Dmboviei (tot o "mare lucrare" a perioadei)
x ::cupa, total nemediatizat, cte un antropolog francez care se ntreba cum se
:x::r.:;E n ru fondator din memoria colectiv (de pild, Stephanie Beauchne,
"sa, la riviere interdite, DEA de Sociologie et Sciences Sociales, Universits
--nere Lyon 2, 1995).

Z.;HARIADE A.M., IOAN A., CELAC M., Teme ale arhitecturii


=J"""inia, Institutul Cultural Romn, 2003.

secolului XX n

navigate an unexpected lack of criteria and information. A kind of


"terra incognita" was spreading ever wider, an abnormal historical hiatus, covered solely by the tainted shadow of the House of
the People, which continued to dominate us, even in public discourse. As if it were the quintessence of the architecture of the
time or Ceauescu's only "great work" (was it really?), a great deal
of ink and television airtime of questionable relevance have been
expended on the subject of its "exoticisrn"." Behind the "House",
thirty-five years of design and construction lay hidden, shrouded by
the silence of the architectural profession, which thereby enabled
the surreptitious/illicit establishment of a kind of "official history".
It was only rarely that "opinions" emerged here and there, each
more contradictory than the next: cliches, dogmatic statements,
personal idiosyncrasies ... I saw their lack of arguments and I felt
that they were unfair.
I agreed to take part in tefan Constantinescu's project without hesitation. I had lived intensely the life of architecture as
a student (since 1967), and then as an architect and assistant
to Professor Alifanti (an important witness to the entire period,
with whom I had the privi lege to work). I had been a witness to
many dramatic moments for the profession, up close, but also
from a relative distance (1 was lucky enough not to have been
forced to work on the projects of the 1980s). I had a viewpoint,
one that I believed was solidly argued, on how architecture had
been made during the communist period. I had already begun
a closer examination of that period; a short while previously I
had even embarked (together with Augustin Ioan and at his urging) on a "history" of twentieth-century Romanian architecture,
an overambitious project which ended up being one of those
mosaics that postmodernism allows us to create, perhaps aII
too easily.' I thus had the opportunity to continue and complete
what I had already started. I have yet to finish.
But it was also one of the most disturbing experiences of my
professional life. The questions that the distance of hindsight
and a fresh understanding inevitably raised led me to go back
to the literature of the period with renewed interest, namely the
scant reference books and Arhitectura magazine. Rereading
them not only invalidated some of my old viewpoints, but also
made me shudder. Perhaps this was merely an uneasy awakening from what must have been the well-meaning frivolity or
(self-)induced delusion in which I had experienced the cornrnunist period and its architecture. I went back to some of the early
witnesses of that period. I looked at the political documents .
2
The real problems relating to the "House" were barely discussed. Even
today, students do not seem prepared to apply a systematic architectural grid
01 evaluation to il. It was the Bucharest 2000 event that linally broached the
maior urban problems it has created; but the competition enjoyed little public
attention. Likewise, the regulation of the Drnbovia River (another "major work" of
the communist era) has been analysed, without getting any media coverage, by
various French anthropologists, who wonder how a founding river can be excised
Irom the collective memory. (For instance, Stephanie Beauchene, Dmbovitsa, la
riviere interdite, DEA de Sociologie et Sciences Sociales, Universite l.urniere Lyon
2,1995).
3
A.M. ZAHARIADE, A. IOAN, M. CELAC, Teme ale arhitecturii secolului XX n
Romnia (Themes of the Twentieth-Century
Architecture in Romania), Romanian
Cultural Institute, 2003.

FOREWORD

politice. M-am trezit pe nisipuri mictoare. Ceea ce tiam,


sau credeam c tiu, intra tot mai greu n schema pe care
mi-o fcusem; lucrurile cptau o alt geometrie al crei
sens incercam s-I descopr. M scufundam ntr-o dram
profesional a crei anvergur nu am bnuit-o nicio clip
atunci cnd o trisem - dei probabil c a fi putut dac a
fi fost mai lucid (profesorul meu era lucid, doar c atunci nu
eram eu pregtit s-I neleg). Au fost momente cnd am
vrut s renun: ce mi ddea dreptul s privesc cu comod
detaare critic producia
unei traume colective
care
afectase attea existene? Ceea ce mi se dezvluia acum,
de la distan, urma s contrazic felul n care s-au privit
generaii de arhiteci activi n acea perioad; am intuit cu
tulburare sensul difuz al tcerii lor. Pe de alt parte, credeam
- i cred n continuare - c fiecare generaie e datoare s-i
scrie istoria. A nu pune pe hrtie ce ntrevzusem nsemna
c accept, n perfect cunotin de cauz, s alimentez
tcerea n care mocneau complexe de vinovie (motivate
sau nu, ca orice complex), indiferen, duplicitate. E greu de
presupus c aceasta ar fi ajutat o profesiune care voia s se
reconstruiasc n condiii de libertate. Dar ce fel de istorie?
Cum se scrie istoria arhitecturii unei astfel de perioade?

I found myself on shifting sands. What I knew, or thought I knew,


was increasingly difficult to fit into the scheme I had contrived.
Things were acquiring a new geometry, whose meaning I was
trying to unearth. I was sinking into a professional drama whose
scale I had not even suspected at the time when I was living
through it, although I probably could have, if I had been more
clearheaded (my professor was clearheaded, but I was not ready
to understand him back then). There were times when I wanted
to give up: what gave me the right to look with comfortable, critical detachment at the production of a collective trauma, which
had blighted so many lives? What was being revealed to me,
from a distance, would contradict the way in which generations
of architects active in that period saw themselves. I grasped,
with an unsettling feeling, the elusive meaning of their silence.
On the other hand, I believed - and still do - that each generation must write its own history. Not to record in writing what I had
begun to glimpse would have been knowingly and willingly to
perpetuate the silence beneath which guilt complexes (whether
motivated or not, like any complex), indifference, and hypocrisy
still smouldered. It is hard to believe that this would have helped
a profession that wished to reconstruct itself in the new climate
of freedom. But what kind of history? How should the history of
the architecture of such an era be written?

N-am rspuns acestor ntrebri; am ncercat doar s le


formulez mai clar. Dou cri, visul comunist i Dacia 1300,
s-a nscut din aceast cercetare i sub imperiul acelei
tulburri (am ncercat, pe ct posibil, s o temperez; dar ea
strbate textul).' Nu este nici pe departe "istoria" a crei
lips o resimeam cu frustrare profesional, dar schieaz i
argumenteaz idei pentru "acea istorie": este vorba despre
a contura o geometrie cu un anume sens a dezvoltrii
arhitecturale sub comunism. Sensul vine din accentul pus
asupra modului de exercitare a profesiunii i nu asupra
formelor; de aici decurg i propunerea de periodizare, i
criteriile ei, i conexiunile cu arhitectura de dinainte de rzboi,
de dup 1989 i din lumea liber.

I have not answered these questions. Rather, I have merely


tried to express them more clearly. Two Books, the Communist
Dream and Dacia 1300 was born out of this research and under
the influence of that unsettling feeling (1 did my best to try and
moderate it, but it is still apparent in the text).' It is far from being
"the history" whose lack I felt with such professional frustration,
but it does outline a number of strongly argued ideas for that
"history": its aim is to sketch a meaningful geometry of architectural development under communism. The meaning comes from
the focus on the way the profession was practised and not on
forms; hence, the proposed segmentation into periods and the
corresponding criteria, as well as the connections with pre-war,
post-1989 and free-world architecture.

Plecnd de la aceast prim schi de istorie, articolele


Despre tcere i cuvinte (2004), Citind tcerea: "arhitectul

Proceeding from this initial sketch of a history, the articles About


Si/ence and Words (2004), Reading the Si/ence: "The Happy Architect" (2004) and The Architecture that Does Not Exist: "Occult"
Architecture (2005) take up and develop (insofar as the occasions for which they were written allowed) some of the questions I asked myself at the time, in various keys of interpretation
and validated by the results of new research: the archives of
the International Union of Architects, documents regarding other
Romanian creative unions, architectural practice in other communist countries, etc. Finally, the last article, The Communist
Proiect in Concrete (2007), summarises, according to a more
concise grid of interpretation, the ideas present in the previous
articles, thus concluding this stage of research.'

fericit" (2004) i Arhitectura care nu exist: "arhitectura


ocult"
(2005) reiau punctual i dezvolt ~n msura
permis de ocaziile pentru care au fost scrise) unele dintre
ntrebrile pe care mi le-am pus atunci, n alte interpretri i
verificate prin rezultatele unor noi cercetri - arhiva Uniunii
Internaionale a Arhitecilor, documente privind alte uniuni de
creaie de la noi, practica arhitectural din alte ri comuniste
etc. n fine, ultimul articol, Proiectul comunist n beton (2007),
rezum dup o schem de interpretare mai sintetic ideile
din articolele anterioare, ncheind astfel acest moment al
cercetril."

4
A aprut n SANDQUIST, Tom, ZAHAR/ADE, Ana Maria, Dacia 1300 My
Generation, Simetria 2003, nsoind opera video cu acelai nume (Stockholm
2003, Bucureti 2004). Varianta din acest volum este revizuit i adugit.

4
/t was pub/ished in Tom SANDQU/ST and Ana Maria ZAHAR/ADE, Dacia
1300 My Generation, Simetria, 2003, to accompany the video art work of the
same name (Stockholm, 2003, Bucharest, 2004). The present version has been
revised and updated.

Cum aceste articole au fost scrise pentru diverse ocazii independente de

CUVNT lNA/NTE

Since these articles were written for various occasions, independent of the

ctul meu de vedere, acest moment este doar un


. Pn la scrierea unei adevrate istorii critice a
~- .ecturii romneti postbelice
mai trebuie s treac
- _- timp. Dar cercetrile care au produs aceste texte i
retriie pe care le-am propus (din perspectiva generaiei
desigur) pot constitui ipoteze de lucru pentru necesara
le care le va infirma sau confirma; de aceea am socotit
- consemnarea lor acum. De altfel, seriile de "amintiri" ale
.ec ilor activi n perioada comunist care au nceput s se
, alturi de remarcabilele studii istorice recente privind
da, ntresc multe dintre aceste conjecturi; cel puin
::2:: acum." Sunt necesare, desigur, cercetri migloase n
- e mai ascunse a ceea ce s-a petrecut n arhitectura
- perioade (arhivele institutelor de proiectare, arhivele
i, ct se va mai gsi din ele etc.); ceea ce atept
- erii cercettori - printre care i tinerii doctoranzi
...G..."e
am privilegiul s-i ndrum - ce au nceput deja s

-= _

eze cu ali ochi subiectul.

__-~cJ", de istorie" pe care le-am adunat n acest volum se


practica de arhitectur sub comunism, n Romnia.
mai cred de mult c exist probleme specific
~--'::,-a.c-n.Problemele "noastre" intr n tipologii mai generale
~

"spndite dect suntem tentai s credem; specifice


ergura i diversele lor forme de manifestare. Din
t de vedere, prin prezentarea cazului nostru
ic un caz limit), articolele din acest volum pun n
chestiune de fond a meseriei de arhitect, a crei
-:.: zate vine din oscilaia profesiunii ntre inevitabilul
-= comercial al practicii i atributele artistice i
care definesc cu adevrat arhitectura/edificarea
i
e verticalitatea profesional. Condiia arhitectului,
casrerea utilitii lui pentru societate, statura lui etic
9SC de cnd lumea n raport cu aceast dimensiune
- a profesiunii, care ascunde vise i deziluzii, ispite
riri. liberti i constrngeri, dar e totdeauna activ.
iu pn acum, istoria profesiunii de arhitect

-:=
=-=-

caste:

unele individuale, altele "de breasl" - "de


Unii vorbesc despre "zona compromisului";
- ::c A es e vorba despre spaiul contiinei profesionale.
serioas asupra modului n care proiectul
a intervenit asupra acestei dimensiuni, asupra
e a deformat (sau nu) profesiunea i contiina ei

-:=~_astzi.

---=
~
::.--2. -

la care au plecat,
volum, am ncercat
- -2s...-.;3 n care am cutat
:rsd c ar fi ngreunat
_ 3e --- _e, articolele se pot

==

unele idei se repet inevitabil. Pentru punerea


s le elimin pe ct posibil (sau s le introduc n
s evit i excesul de trimiteri ncruciate ntre
lectura. n felul acesta, cu riscul unor repetiii
citi i separat.

; -if: aci la volumele Arhiteci n timpul dictaturii. Amintiri (volum


~::e tlOl'ica Ciurea), Ed. Simetria, 2005 i ENESCU, Ion Mircea, Arhitect
=r-...:. Ed. Paideia, 2006. i aduc pe aceast cale un respectuos i trist
_ ~
i Ion Mircea Enescu, recent trecut n nefiin. M refer i la
.orice privind perioada, de la Raportul Comisiei Prezideniale
Cli::2 Jdafurii Comuniste din Romnia, Bucureti, 2006, la MURGESCU,
=o-E: i Europa. Acumularea decalajelor economice (1600-2010), Ed.
_ - - :::are furnizeaz un nepreuit material documentar.

As far as l am concemed, this is merely the beginning. There is


still some time to go before a truly critical history of post-war
Romanian architecture will be written. But the research that resulted in these texts and the interpretations l have put forward
(from the viewpoint of my generation, of course) might act as
working hypotheses for this much-needed history, which will
invalidate or prove them. This is why I thought it would be usefui to put them in writing. Furthermore, the series of "memoirs"
by architects active during the communist regime that has been
published, as well as a number of outstanding recent historical
studies of the period, corroborates many of these conjectures, at
least hitherto." Of course, thorough research still has to be done
into the less visible layers of what was happening in the architecture of the time (the archives of the design institutes, Communist
Party archives, insofar as they still exist, etc.); it is what l expect
from the young researchers, such as the young PhD students
l have the privi lege to supervise and who have already begun
investigating this subject from new perspectives.
The "sketches for a history" l have gathered in the present
volume speak of the architectural practice under communism,
in Romania. But I long ago stopped thinking that there is such
a thing as Romania-specific problems; "our" problems are part
of more general and widespread typologies than we might
think; only their scale and various forms of expression can be
country-specific. From this point of view, by presenting our
(undoubtedly borderline) case the articles in this book bring to
light an essential aspect of the profession, whose ambiguity
arises from the vacillation between the inevitable commercial
nature of the practice and the artistic and social attributes which
genuinely define architecture/aedificatio
and which depend
upon professional probity. The condition of the architect, the
acknowledgment of his usefulness to society, and his ethical
stature have been defined since time immemorial in relation to
this dilemmatic dimension of the profession, which conceals
dreams and disillusionment, temptations and resistance, liberties
and constraints, but is always active. Ever since Vitruvius, the
history of the architectural profession has known themall: some
individual, others pertaining to the "guild", the "institution",
today. Some speak of an "area of compromise"; l think that it
is the space of professional conscience. A careful consideration
of the way in which the communist project interfered with this
initial study wherefrom they had arisen, some ideas inevitably appear more than
once. In order to put them together in this volume, I have tried to eliminate as
many of them as possible (or to put them in the notes), and I have also tried to
avoid excessive cross-references between texts, which I think would have made
reading more difficult. Thus, at the risk of having some ideas appear more than
once (especially in the notes), the articles may also be read separately.
6
I refer here to the volumes Arhiteci n timpul dictaturii. Amintiri (Architects
during the Dictatorship. Recollections), Ed. Viorica Ciurea, Simetria, 2005, and
Ion Mircea ENESCU, Arhitect sub communism (Architect under Communism),
Paideia, 2006. I hereby pay respectful and sad homage to architect Ion Mircea
Enescu, who recently passed away. I also refer to numerous historical studies
of the period, from Raportul Comisiei Prezidentiale pentru Analiza Dictaturii
Comuniste din Romnia (Report of the Presidential Commission for Analysis of the
Communist Dictatorship in Romania), Bucharest, 2006, to Bogdan MURGESCU,
Romnia i Europa. Acumularea decalajelor economice (1600-2010) (Romania
and Europe. The Accumulation of Economic Disparities (1600-2010)), Polirom,
2010, which provide valuable documentary resources.

FOREWORD

este cu att mai necesar azi cu ct presiunea pieei nu este


mai ierttoare; n cazul lungii noastre tranziii, noua presiune
este i periculos de neltoare pentru c flutur stindardul
atractiv al libertii individuale pe un fond n care ideologia
comunist a discreditat ideea de "bun comun". n aceast
conjunctur, cum se poate (re)construi condiia profesiunii
i statura moral a arhitectului? Cum se situeaz aici i
acum arhitectul ieit din comunism? Lucian Boia spunea
odat c n edificiul comunist poarta de intrare i cea de
ieire nu se prea aseamn. Arhitecii romni au fost odat
inclui cu fora n logica unui proiect comunist dintre cele
mai drastice; ntrebarea e: cum ies (ieim) din ea? Cum se
poate renva lumea adevrat - o lume desigur imperfect,
care funcioneaz dup logica profitului, dar care are totui
loc i pentru responsabiliti individuale i comune, pentru
idealuri i pentru reconsiderri critice; o lume n care exist i
"profitul pentru toi"? Se poate oare fr asumarea, fie ea i
amar, a unei istorii proprii, fie ea i lipsit de eroism?

dimension, of the way in which it distorted (or not) the profession


and its conscience, is aII the more necessary today, when market
pressure is relentless; in the case of our long transition, the
new pressure is also dangerously deceptive, as it preaches the
alluring merits of individual freedom against a backdrop where
communist ideology discredited the idea of "commonweal".
Given these circumstances, how can the status of the profession
and the moral stature of the architect be (re)built? What is the
current position of the architect who lived under communism?
Lucian Boia once said that, in the communist edifice, the
entrance and the exit are not alike. Romanian architects were
once forced to be part of a most drastic communist project; the
question is how we (1)can get out of it. How we can relearn the
real world? A world which, of course, has its imperfections, which
operates according to the logic of profit, but which still has room
for individual and common responsibilities, for ideals and critical
reconsideration; a world in which "profit for everyone" might also
exist. But is it possible without an acceptance, however bitter, of
our own history, even one lacking in heroism?

nainte de a termina aceast relatare, trebuie s mulumesc


tuturor celor care m-au ajutat s scriu acest volum.

Before concluding this introduction, I have to thank everyone


who helped me write this volume.

n primul rnd, toat gratitudinea se ndreapt spre distinii


mei profesori Mihail Caffe i Dorian Hardt, pentru calda i
generoasa rbdare cu care mi-au povestit despre practica
perioadei i m-au fcut s neleg mecanismele unor vremi
greu de priceput.

First of aII, I extend my deepest gratitude to my distinguished


professors Mihail Caffe and Dorian Hardt, for their warm and
generous patience when telling me about the practice of that period and helping me to understand the mechanisms of a difficultto-understand time.

i mulumesc lui tefan Constantinescu,


al crui proiect
artistic a fost motorul primului studiu i care a suportat stoic
ntrzierile textului.

I thank tefan Constantinescu, whose artistic project triggered


the first study and who stoically endured my repeatedly missing
the deadlines.

Text care n-ar fi fost niciodat gata fr sprijinul buni lor mei
prieteni Kazrner Kovcs i Horia Marinescu, care, cu largheea
elegant care i definete, i-au consumat timpul ajutndum s definitivez i ilustrez prima variant a aceluiai studiu;
le mulumesc acum cu att mai mult cu ct, impardonabil, nu
le-am mulumit n acea publicaie.

The text would have never be completed without the support


of my good friends Kzrner Kovacs and Horia Marinescu, who,
with their innate, elegant generosity, spent their time helping me
finalise and illustrate the first version of the study. I thank them
now, even more so, since, unforgivably, I did not thank them in
that book.

i mulumesc Marianei Celac pentru traducerea n romn


a textului Arhitectura care nu exist i pentru neleptele
sugestii critice pe care mi le-a fcut cu aceast ocazie.

I thank Mariana Celac for the Romanian translation of the text


The Architecture that Does Not Exist and for the wise critical
suggestions she made.

i le mulumesc Mirunei Stroe i Cristianei erbnescu pentru


traducerea n romn a textelor Citind tcerea: "arhitectul
fericit" i Despre tcere i cuvinte.

And I also thank Miruna Stroe and Cristiana erbnescu for the
Romanian translation of Reading the Silence: "The Happy Architect" and About Silence and Words.

Aa cum le mulumesc i tuturor celor care m-au ajutat cu


material fotografic i documentar: tefan Lungu (din pcate
departe de noi), Alexandru Beldiman i Romeo Simira, Irina
Tulbure i Miruna Stroe.

I am also grateful to everyone who helped me with photographic


and documentary resources: tefan Lungu (who, unfortunately,
has since passed away), as well as Romeo Simira, Alexandru
Beldiman, Irina Tulbure and Miruna Stroe.

n final, dar nu n ultimul rnd, i mulumesc soului meu Ion,


totdeauna primul critic a ceea ce scriu, i ale crui ajutor,
nelegere i inteligen au fcut posibil acest volum (ca i tot
ce am scris pn acum).

Last but not least, I thank my husband Ion, whose help, understanding and intelligence made this volume possible (the same
as everything I have ever written), and who is always the first,
careful critic of what I write.

10

CUVNT1NAINTE

*** Studiul a fost publicat ntr-o variant mai scurt n


SANDQUIST, Tom &ZAHARIADE, Ana Maria, Dacia 1300
My Generation, Editura Simetria, Bucureti, 2003.

*** A shorter version of this artkss


Tom SANDQUIST and Ana Maria
My Generation, Simetria, Buchares;

produs
la uzinele Mioveni (Colibai) dup licena Renault 12.
Prima Dacia 1300, rmas n amintirea colectiv ca
"maina naional", iese de pe linia de asamblare pe
23 August 1969. Producia ei n continu cretere de-a
lungul perioadei comuniste (144.000 de autoturisme n
1989, fa de 24.000 n 1970) continu ntr-un ritm mai
sczut pn n iulie 2004, cnd ultima Dacia 1310, cea
de a 1.979.730-a main, iese pe poarta uzinei, cu o lun
naintea celei de a 35-a aniversri.

*** Dacia 1300 is the name of the


remembered as "the national car. ine u_
that was produced under licence at the
plant. The first Dacia 1300 left the assemh/o,
August 1969. Continuously increasing
car during the communist period (144,UUU Ce..'S
compared with 20,000 in 1970) continued at a
until 21 July 2004, when the last Dacia 1310.
number 1,979,730, rolled out, just one
thirty-fifth anniversary.

*** n dorina de a transmite

*** In the hope of conveying at least some oi tne

*** Dacia 1300 din titlu se refer la autoturismul

mcar o parte din atmosfera


acelor timpuri,
am folosit n text multe formulri
caracteristice
frazeologiei
comuniste,
cu absurdul,
stngcia i redundanele lor inepuizabile. Toate acestea
(transcripii din discursul oficial i din idiomul cotidian
impus de ideologia epocii, precum i denumirile instituiilor
i ale documentelor oficiale - multe la fel de greoaie i
de redundante) sunt scrise n italice; se deosebesc astfel
de alte citri (din literatura de specialitate, spre exemplu)
i de cuvintele folosite n sensuri speciale, care au fost
puse ntre ghilimele.
Am avut mari probleme i dubii privind traducerea
idiomului comunist n englez, unde i se gsete greu
(sau nu i se gsete deloc) un corespondent apropiat.
Am ncercat s traduc ct mai literal posibil. De aici,
unele opiuni de traducere pot prea ciudate, dar erau
la fel de ciudate i n romn; cum ar fi, de exemplu,
redundantele si absurdul din titlurile de acte oficiale si
instituii sau stnqcia greoaie a limbajului politic. n alte
cazuri, am folosit cuvinte nefireti ca "typified" n loc de
.standardrsed'',
.econornisinq"
n loc de .economy",
.construction
of buildings" n loc de "buildings" etc.,
n ncercarea de a transmite ceva din semnificaiile lor
circumstaniale
de atunci. Pentru detalii, a se vedea
Cuvntul nainte.

14

DouA

CARI, VISUL COMUNIST

I DACIA 1300

of that time, in the text I have used many words


specific to communist phraseology, with aII their absun
clumsiness and unbelievable redundancies. Ali mese
(transcriptions of the official discourse or the daily idi
imposed by the ideology of the epoch, names of instituti
and official documents - many of them similarly awkward
and redundant) are written in italics, thus differentiating
them from other quotations (from the professionalliterature,
for instance) or from words I have used with particular
meanings, for which I have employed inverted commas.
I had immense problems and doubts concerning the
translation of the communist idiom into English, in which
it is very difficult (or well nigh impossible) to find a close
correspondent. I have tried to translate it as literally as
possible. Consequently, certain formulae might seem
very odd, but they were odd in Romanian, too, for
example, the redundancy ar the absurdity of the names
of institutions and official documents or the clumsiness of
the political language. In other cases, I have used unusual/
unnatural expressions/words, such as "typified" instead
of "standardised", "economicity" instead of "economy",
"construction of buildings" instead of "buildings", etc., in
order to convey as correctly as possible their circumstantial
meanings in Romanian. For details, see the Foreword.

--

_ cnd sunt ntrebai,

romnii de astzi rspund

::G:Je invariabil, c socotesc ultimii ani ai domniei lui Dej


. dinti ai crmuirii lui Ceauescu drept o perioad
.::eaIism, o "epoc de aur" att fa de anii '50 ct
e anii '80. Se nelege c att liberalismul ct i
I auriu al epocii sunt termeni relativi, care trebuie
umai n contextul socialismului romnesc. Cu
- acestea, ei reflect o realitate obiectiv: Gheorghiu- _ a sa succesorului su o Romnie care ncepuse s

-=-=-~

i un popor care ncepuse s spere.

Nowadays, Romanians, if asked, almost invariably say


that they remember the last years of Gheorghiu-Dej's
rule and the beginning of the Ceauescu period as an
interlude of liberalism, a "golden age", in comparison to
both the 50s and the 80s. Obviously, both liberalism and
"goldenness" are relative terms that need to be understood solely in the context of Romanian socialism. Nevertheless, they reflect an objective reality: Gheorghiu-Dej
bequeathed to his successor a Romania that was starting to rise and a people beginning to hope.

Istoria romnilor. De la origini pn n

(Vlad Georgescu, The Romanians - A History. From the


Origins ta the Present Day)1

memoriei perioadei comuniste, momentul care


I.~-",=--=- anilor 1965-1968 - cnd primele automobile

of the 1960s, when the first Dacia 1300 rol led


heoff end
the production line, enjoys a particular mental rep-

a:: ~rgescu,
- -::;astre)1

-:-C 'as

de pe banda de producie - se bucur de o

=-- zreaparte n mentalul colectiv al romnilor, o imagine

---= ae o anumit

nostalgie. Aceast reprezentare este


(incluzndu-i aici att
.. ct i pe istoricii de arhitectur). Muli i ascund
rta: perioada pare s fie perceput ca un episod
;; nflorire a arhitecturii romneti de dup cel de-al
= ~-ooi Mondial. Majoritatea profesionitilor spun c
~ =: acestei perioade ar putea sta cu cinste alturi de
::E sa construia atunci n lume, de unde se poate deduce
=: .constilnt a (re)alinierii" arhitecturii romneti la
a occidental;
ceea ce reprezint, de altfel, o tem. rii noastre profesionale moderne.s
= ::. centru mediile arhitecturale

::C::-",ESCU,

Vlad, Istoria romnilor.

De la origini pn n zilele noastre,

.2::::::.r:: - .znannas, Bucureti, 1992, p. 274 (ediia prim: Jon Dumitru Verlag,
"984).

::-es::: ea alinierii la cultura i civilizaia occidental este, n mare msur,


_ ce=-c-ae a evoluiei moderne a arhitecturii i culturii romneti n general,
- dezvoltrii Romniei moderne i, de aici, un larg dezbtut leit
~.
CI. GEORGESCU, V., op. cit., tema apare cam odat cu sfritul
a, XVIIIlea i, mai ales, cu primele decenii ale secolului al XIX lea, cnd
==e
romneasc ncepe s contientizeze ngustarea conceptului
de
s dezvolte o aspiraie ctre sistemul de valori al civilizaiei occidentale,
relativ complex de inlerioritate i de regretul c nu se all la acelai
ie. Modernizarea spectaculoas a ntregii societi, dezvoltarea
- or culturale, alctuirea unui sistem de valori corespunztor noilor
icit i micarea arhitectural, se gsesc sub acest semn, indilerent
:E ~e
uneori paradoxale . pe care le mbrac. Asimilarea valorilor
=a-ze. acoperirea decalajului, compararea (de la admirativ la argoas sau
:::r""..c:..c.e) cu Europa, sunt idei recurente n discursul cultural i intr n mentalul

iscursul arhitectural, cel care ne intereseaz n mod deosebit n


:::=E :E ~
az, ele constituie o permanen, odat ce arhitectura romneasc
:::e::scs:e lparele tradiionale postbizantine i i ncepe evoluia modern. A se

special capitolele 7, IIuminismul i contiina naional, pp. 118-132,


ra naional, pp. 186-202. A se vedea i LOVINESCU, Eugen, Istoria
- romne moderne, Meridiane, 1990 i ORNEA, Zigu, Tradiionalism i
-=mrte n deceniul al treilea, Ed. Eminescu, 1980.

=.r=

- -'= _

resentation within the collective memory of the Communist


period. In the collective view of Romanians, the moment is
bathed in a nostalgic aura. This representation is valid for the
architectural milieus (architects and architectural historians),
too. Most of them barely con ceai a sort of professional pride:
the period seems to be perceived as a flourishing episode
in post-war architectural development. They generally say
that the achievements of that period could honourably stand
alongside contemporary world architecture. Hence we may
deduce a "consciousness of the realignment" of Romanian
architecture with the Western architecture, which is a keyissue haunting our modern professional culture."
Vlad GEORGESCU, Istoria romnilor. De la origini pn n zilele noastre,
Humanitas, Bucharest, 1992, p. 274; lirst printing: Jon Dumitru Verlag, Munich,
1984 .
2
The rnatter 01 "realignment" is to a large extent one of the key points in the
modern evolution 01Romanian culture in general (and 01architecture in particular),
a driving lorce 01 modern development as a whole; hen ce a largely debated
cultural leitmotit. CI. V. GEORGESCU, op. cit. The theme appears as early as
the end 01 the eighteenth century. Its presence becomes stronger lrom the lirst
decades olthe nineteenth century, once Romanian society begins to acknowledge
a narrowing of the concept of Europe and to develop a tendency towards the
values 01Western societies. This tendency is accompanied by a relative inleriority
complex and a leeling 01 Irustration at not being at the same level 01 civilisation.
The spectacular modernisation 01 society as a whole, the development 01 cultural
instruments, the building 01 a value system and, implicitly, an architectural
movement that would correspond to the newer realities, evolve under this sign,
regardless 01 the sometimes paradoxical lorms they take. Assimilating Western
values, bridging the gap and relerring to Europe (whether admiringly, petulantly,
cantankerously or opposingly) are recurrent ideas in the cultural discourse and
enter the collective mentality. Within the architectural discourse, the one that
we are most interested in, these ideas are permanently present, once Romanian
architecture leaves traditional post-Byzantine palterns behind and embarks on its
modern career. See especially chapters 7, "The Enlightenment and the National
Consciousness", pp. 118-132, and 10, "The National Culture", pp. 186-202. See
also Eugen LOVINESCU, istoria civilizaiei romne moderne, Meridiane, 1990 and
Zigu ORNEA, Traditionalism i modernitate n deceniul al treilea, Ed. Eminescu,
1980.

TWO BOOKS, THE COMMUNIST

DREAM AND DACIA 1300

15

SI CUVINT~

AND WORD

*** Publicat n IDEALS IN CONCRETE,

NAi Publishers,
Rotterdam 2004, volum colectiv, coordonat de Cor
Wagenaar & Mieke Dings

*** Published in IDEALS IN CONCRETE,

*** Traducere n romn: Cristiana erbnescu

*** Romanian translation: Cristiana erbnescu

NAi Publish
Rotterdam 2004, collective volume, edited by Cor
Wagenaar & Mieke Dings

ntr-o fascinant

carte despre Bucureti,

aprut

recent,

istoricul francez Catherine Durandin i ncheie plimbarea


narativ
rebours prin memoria oraului n Centrul Civic al
lui Ceauescu, cu o observaie neateptat:

The nowadays visitor feels embarrassed when


dering
the underground,
petrified
silence
"Ceeuescu's'' little men that worked hard there,
lost in the decor. In front of the House of the Peo,
the Parliament, [.. .l the passer-by experiences a

toate acestea, copacii au crescut i continu s creasc,


fntnile mproac n jur cu firioare de ap, magazinele
sunt deschise, apar civa clieni. Locurile sunt vii.
Ameeala se datoreaz tcerii, tcerii bucuretenilor nii
cu privire la oraul lor. Trecutul apropiat este evitat. Centrul
Civic nu are o istorie a sa. Oamenii lui Ceauescu, cnd
au slvit aceast realizare [. . .l au vorbit despre cifre i nu
au spus nimic despre anonimii constructori ai acestei mari

dizziness. However, trees have grown and keep [JJ


fountains splash drops of water, shops are open,
come. The place is alive. The discomfort is due to
the silence of Bucharest's people concerning
The near past is avoided. The Civic Centre has no
of its own. Ceauescu's henchmen, when worsni, -

Centrul Civic este doar o metonimie pentru ntreaga evoluie


a arhitecturii comuniste. Durandin atinge aici o tcere mai
profund care nvlule pe de-a-ntregul perioada comunist.
Tcerea arhitecilor e parte dintr-o dezolant tcere general.
Eu sunt arhitect, iar afirmaia autoarei m pune pe gnduri.
M gndesc la cuvinte... La arhitect i tcerea lui... La
cuvintele lui. ..
A fost arhitectul cu adevrat tcut n perioada comunist?
Sau dup anul 1989? Sunt aceste dou episoade de tcere
aparent legate ntre ele? Greu de rspuns; amintirea
trecutului recent nu este o sarcin uoar. Experiena mea
personal n aceast privin este destul de tulburtoare.
Primvara trecut am nceput o cercetare privind arhitectura
romneasc i arhitecii din timpul comunismului i - lsnd
la o parte insuficiena documentelor i dificultatea descifrrii
lor - satisfacia fireasc pe care cercettorul o gsete n
munca lui a fost umbrit de drama uman care ieea cu

90

na recent, fascinating book on Bucharest, the Fr


torian Catherine Durandin ends her narrative walk
through the memory of the city of Bucharest in Cea
Civic Centre, with an unexpected notice:

Vizitatorul de astzi se simte stnjenit reflectnd asupra


tcerii subterane, apoi lncremenite, a tuturor omulei/or
noi ai .ceeuismutui"
ce au trudit acolo i apoi s-au
pierdut n decor. n faa Casei Poporului, devenit Casa
Parlamentului, [. ..] pe trector I cuprinde ameeala. Cu

opere. Actorii au prsit scena ntr-un cortegiu tcut ... 1

DURANDIN, Catherine, Bucureti. Amintiri, plimbri,

DESPRE TCERE I CUVINTE

Paralela 45, 2003.

achievement [. . -l, talked only about numbers, am


nothing about the anonymous builders of this hu
The actors left the stage in a silent procession ... 1

The Civic Centre is only a metonymy for the whole e


of architecture under Communism. Durandin touches
deeper silence wrapping the whole Communist peri
silence of architects is part of the general, desolate
I am an architect. It makes me wonder ... About w,
About the architect and his/her silence ... About the
and his/her words ...
Was the architect really silent during the Communist
Or after 1989? Are the two episodes of apparent
related? Hard to answer; recollecting the recent past
an easy task. My own experience in this respect is
troubling. Last spring I have started a research on Ro
architecture and architects under Communism and - I
aside the scarcity of documents and the difficu
deciphering them - the usual satisfaction the research
in his/her work was overshadowed by the human dr

DURANDIN, Catherine, Bucureti. Amintiri, plimbri,

Paralela 45,

- are la suprafaa taptetor.' De aceea remarca lui


Durandin este mult mai semnificativ pentru mine
obabil c i-a imaginat autoarea.
. profesia de arhitect (practica de proiectare,
e profesionale,
investiiile, construciile
etc.) a
: nalizat", cu alte cuvinte a fost incorporat
i", iar mai trziu, dup o liberalizare parial
t durat, a fost complet emasculat, redus n
le la aspectele ei tehnice inevitabile - singurele
lsate arhitectului n anii 1980. Cu toate acestea,
mea a artat c arhitecii nu au fost numai nite
. mui n jocul ahului politic. Ei nu au tcut de-a
ii perioade comuniste, n ciuda continuitii
.' a agresivitii i eficienei perverse a ultimei
iar i n circumstanele extreme ale nceputului,
ereu un "glas" profesional care a ncercat (nu a
a ncercat cu oarecare speran) s se angajeze
cu puterea, n msura n care diversele ei
~
dispuse s I asculte. i atunci cnd sperana
s dispar (dup anii 1970), "glasul" s-a comutat
4
..subversiunii teoretice" a anilor 1980. Au existat
. disidente pe care autoritatea le inea ct se
nse, dar, ntr-un Bucureti al oaptelor i al
- gitoare, lucrurile se aflau n cele din urm.
'. a fost eficacitatea cuvintelor arhitecilor att
:::'" ce nu au fost arhitecii capabili s transimt
. ate, sau, cel puin, s atrag o aur de
oartea publicului? Nu s-a ntmplat nimic de
aceeai perioad, scriitorii disideni erau "eroi"
.' dup 1989, cnd i-au fcut loc dezbateri
2:'" tectur, iar arhitecii au nceput s apar pe
_ !zoarelor i n publicaii (cu studii critice despre
e arhitecturale), percepia general a rmas
rintele arhitecilor nu au avut niciun impact
e tcere tulburtoare pare s nconjoare
- . ectural recent; este impresia pe care a
erine Durandin. Un subiect care merit
nicidecum s-I pot clarifica n spaiul
1;voi sugera doar cteva idei care ar
~ 'eni ipoteze pentru studii viitoare.

stubbornly surfaced from beneath the facts." That is why


Catherine Durandin's remark is, for me, more meaningful
than the author could have imagined.
In 1952,

the

professional

architectural

associations,

was "nationalised",

profession

investment,

which

(design

practice,

building activity, etc.)

is to say incorporated

"System", and then, after the short-lived,


of the 1960s, it was completely

partialliberalisation

"emasculated",

reduced to its unavoidabletechnical

into the
drastically

aspects (the only ones left

in the 1980s). However, my research showed that architects


were not merely dumb pawns in the political chess game. In
spite of the Stalinist aggressive continuity till the last decade
and of its perverse efficiency,
over the Communist
circumstances,

they did not remain silent aII

perlod."

Even under those

extreme

there has always been a professional "voice"

that tried (not pushed, yet tried with some hopefulness)

to

engage in a dialogue with the powers that be, insofar as the


establishment

was willing to listen to them. Then, after the

1970s, when hope started to fade, the "voice" switched to the


peculiar "theoretical
even dissident

subversion"

of the 1980s.4 There were

gestures that the authority

as possible,

but in a Bucharest

expectations

things eventually

was the efficacy of architects'

kept as hidden

of whispers

and specious

became known. Why, then,


words so meagre, why were

they so unable to convey a certain dignity, or at least attract


an aura of public sympathy?

Nothing of the kind happened.

In the same period, dissident

writers were public "heroes".

Even after 1989, when a couple of public debates took place,


when architects
studies

appeared on TV screens and some critical

concerning

published,

certain

the common

The architects'

architectural

perception

episodes

remained

were

unchanged.

words had no public impact. The impression

of foggy, troubling silence enveloping the recent architectural


past is still here, as Catherine Durandin discovered
topic worth examining.

Rather than pretending

it. It is a

to be able

to clarify the matter within the limited space of this article, I


will instead try to suggest some ideas, which might become
hypotheses for further studies.

2
The first result of this research: "Two Books, the Communist Dream and
Dacia 1300", in SANDQUIST, Tom and ZAHARIADE, Ana Maria, Dacia 1300 My
Generation, Simetria, 2003, pp. 51-91.
3
In spite of its intricacies and Iluctuations, the political context - without which
it is impossible to understand the architectural evolution - remained permanently
inscribed in a severe Stalinist ideology, often more powerful in Romania than in
the other Communist countries (the Soviet Union included).
4
For the moment, there is no thorough research conceming the architects'
dialogue with the political authorities. We rely on the "oral history" and on the
articles published in the Arhitectura magazine, but most 01 them are neutrally
descriptive; a very reduce number are critlcal, However, a very peculiar case (to
be studied) is that of the last decade 01 the magazine Arhitectura, which acquired
the unusual character of a literary circle. It was some sort of "subversion", nonprogrammatic, not really effective, yet present. Otherwise, the architects were not
present in other publications and in the daily newspapers.

ON SILENCE AND WORDS

91

- are la suprafaa taptetor.' De aceea remarca lui


Durandin este mult mai semnificativ pentru mine
obabil c i-a imaginat autoarea.
. profesia de arhitect (practica de proiectare,
e profesionale,
investiiile, construciile
etc.) a
: nalizat", cu alte cuvinte a fost incorporat
i", iar mai trziu, dup o liberalizare parial
t durat, a fost complet emasculat, redus n
le la aspectele ei tehnice inevitabile - singurele
lsate arhitectului n anii 1980. Cu toate acestea,
mea a artat c arhitecii nu au fost numai nite
. mui n jocul ahului politic. Ei nu au tcut de-a
ii perioade comuniste, n ciuda continuitii
.' a agresivitii i eficienei perverse a ultimei
iar i n circumstanele extreme ale nceputului,
ereu un "glas" profesional care a ncercat (nu a
a ncercat cu oarecare speran) s se angajeze
cu puterea, n msura n care diversele ei
~
dispuse s I asculte. i atunci cnd sperana
s dispar (dup anii 1970), "glasul" s-a comutat
4
..subversiunii teoretice" a anilor 1980. Au existat
. disidente pe care autoritatea le inea ct se
nse, dar, ntr-un Bucureti al oaptelor i al
- gitoare, lucrurile se aflau n cele din urm.
'. a fost eficacitatea cuvintelor arhitecilor att
:::'" ce nu au fost arhitecii capabili s transimt
. ate, sau, cel puin, s atrag o aur de
oartea publicului? Nu s-a ntmplat nimic de
aceeai perioad, scriitorii disideni erau "eroi"
.' dup 1989, cnd i-au fcut loc dezbateri
2:'" tectur, iar arhitecii au nceput s apar pe
_ !zoarelor i n publicaii (cu studii critice despre
e arhitecturale), percepia general a rmas
rintele arhitecilor nu au avut niciun impact
e tcere tulburtoare pare s nconjoare
- . ectural recent; este impresia pe care a
erine Durandin. Un subiect care merit
nicidecum s-I pot clarifica n spaiul
1;voi sugera doar cteva idei care ar
~ 'eni ipoteze pentru studii viitoare.

stubbornly surfaced from beneath the facts." That is why


Catherine Durandin's remark is, for me, more meaningful
than the author could have imagined.
In 1952,

the

professional

architectural

associations,

was "nationalised",

profession

investment,

which

(design

practice,

building activity, etc.)

is to say incorporated

"System", and then, after the short-lived,


of the 1960s, it was completely

partialliberalisation

"emasculated",

reduced to its unavoidabletechnical

into the
drastically

aspects (the only ones left

in the 1980s). However, my research showed that architects


were not merely dumb pawns in the political chess game. In
spite of the Stalinist aggressive continuity till the last decade
and of its perverse efficiency,
over the Communist
circumstances,

they did not remain silent aII

perlod."

Even under those

extreme

there has always been a professional "voice"

that tried (not pushed, yet tried with some hopefulness)

to

engage in a dialogue with the powers that be, insofar as the


establishment

was willing to listen to them. Then, after the

1970s, when hope started to fade, the "voice" switched to the


peculiar "theoretical
even dissident

subversion"

of the 1980s.4 There were

gestures that the authority

as possible,

but in a Bucharest

expectations

things eventually

was the efficacy of architects'

kept as hidden

of whispers

and specious

became known. Why, then,


words so meagre, why were

they so unable to convey a certain dignity, or at least attract


an aura of public sympathy?

Nothing of the kind happened.

In the same period, dissident

writers were public "heroes".

Even after 1989, when a couple of public debates took place,


when architects
studies

appeared on TV screens and some critical

concerning

published,

certain

the common

The architects'

architectural

perception

episodes

remained

were

unchanged.

words had no public impact. The impression

of foggy, troubling silence enveloping the recent architectural


past is still here, as Catherine Durandin discovered
topic worth examining.

Rather than pretending

it. It is a

to be able

to clarify the matter within the limited space of this article, I


will instead try to suggest some ideas, which might become
hypotheses for further studies.

2
The first result of this research: "Two Books, the Communist Dream and
Dacia 1300", in SANDQUIST, Tom and ZAHARIADE, Ana Maria, Dacia 1300 My
Generation, Simetria, 2003, pp. 51-91.
3
In spite of its intricacies and Iluctuations, the political context - without which
it is impossible to understand the architectural evolution - remained permanently
inscribed in a severe Stalinist ideology, often more powerful in Romania than in
the other Communist countries (the Soviet Union included).
4
For the moment, there is no thorough research conceming the architects'
dialogue with the political authorities. We rely on the "oral history" and on the
articles published in the Arhitectura magazine, but most 01 them are neutrally
descriptive; a very reduce number are critlcal, However, a very peculiar case (to
be studied) is that of the last decade 01 the magazine Arhitectura, which acquired
the unusual character of a literary circle. It was some sort of "subversion", nonprogrammatic, not really effective, yet present. Otherwise, the architects were not
present in other publications and in the daily newspapers.

ON SILENCE AND WORDS

91

*** Contribuie la simpozionul COLLAGE EUROPA, organizat


de NAi (Nederlands Architectuurinstituut) la Rotterdam n
noiembrie 2004.

Contribution to the COLLAGE EUROPA symposi


organised by NAi (Nederlands Architectuurinstituut)
Rotterdam, November 2004.

***

*** Romanian translation: Miruna Stroe

*** Traducere n romn: Miruna Stroe

deea acestei lucrri a venit n urma expoziiei de la NAi


(Nederlands Architectuurinstituut)
care i propune s
compare dezvoltarea oraelor de ambele pri ale Cortinei de
1
Fier. Se pare c pot fi detectate asemnri ntre cele dou
tipuri de dezvoltare, iar aceast idee este foarte simpatizat
n mediul arhitectural romnesc, poate chiar prea mult, dup
opinia mea. Ca arhitect care a trit sub comunism, m feresc
de concluzii pripite n aceast privin, fiindc aparenele pot
fi periculos de amgitoare. Acesta este motivul pentru care
voi ncerca s privesc condiia arhitectului sub comunism,
pentru c ea constituie un fundal al produciei de arhitectur.
Este i o nou ocazie s repun problema "tcerii arhitecilor",
ntrebare formulat n contribuia mea la volumul Ideals in
Concrete (care s-a lansat cu aceast ocazie).
Pentru a explora ambele direcii, voi aduce n discuie
momentele cnd arhitecii din ambele "lumi" s-au ntlnit i
au dezbtut subiecte profesionale comune, nu la intensitatea
de vrf a avangardei, ci la un nivel mediu, mai curnd
conservator. nseamn c am ncercat s gsesc diverse
indicii, nu n lucrrile radicale ale CIAM-urilor (Congres
Internationaux de I'architecture moderne, care intenionau s
smulg violent arhitectura din impasul su academic i "s
o curee"),' ci n procesele verbale ale congreselor Uniunii
Internaionale a Arhitecilor i ale predecesorilor si (CPIA Comite permanent international des architectes - i R.I.A. Reunions Internationales d'Archliectes.' nc de la nceput,
aceste "ONG-uri" au cutat s stabileasc standarde ct mai
nalte i uniforme pentru practica de arhitectur, confruntat
cu schimbrile structurale ale societii industriale; ei au
ncercat, ntr-un fel, s "geometrizeze" procesul de definire i
recunoatere oficial a profesiunii de ctre noile democraii
liberale, proces care luase forme diverse (i uneori chiar
4

for this paper came to me from the NAi ex


hebition,ideawhich
aimed to compare urban development
either side of the lron Curtain.' It seems that similarities
be detected in these separate developments, and this is ar
idea that is also viewed favourably in Romanian architectural
circles, in my opinion. As an architect who lived under co
munism, I am cautious of drawing hasty conclusions in thl
respect, since appearances can be dangerously specio
This is why I shall attempt to examine the state of the archi
tectural profession under communism, since it constitut
a background for architectural production. It will also be
opportunity to continue the interrogation of "architects'
lence" formulated in my contribution to the volume Ideals il
Concrete, which I presented at the symposium.
In order to explore both avenues, I shall bring into play t
moments when architects from both "worlds" met and d
bated common professional issues at a middling, conserv
tive level, rather than at the most fervent level of the avant
garde. This means I have tried to discover various clues
not in the radical works of the CIAM (aimed at drastica!
breaking architecture's
academic deadlock and cieenin.
up the professlon)," but in the minutes of the International
Union of Architects and the congresses of its predecesso
(CPIA - Comite permanent international des architectes, ai
RIA - Reunions Internationales d'Architectes).3 From the ve
beginning, these "NGOs" have tried to set higher and mo
uniform standards for an architectural practice challenged
by the structural changes of industrial society; they trled'
somehow to "geometrise" the ongoing process of defini
and officially recognising the profession in the new libe
democracies, a process that had taken various (often conflicting) forms in the member countries.'

conflictuale) n rile membre.

98

1
Expoziia a cuprins, ntr-un sobru i deosebit de_artistic design de ansamblu,
"momente" semnificative din marile orae din Est. In afara acestora, o serie de
planuri-machet ncercau s sistematizeze dezvoltarea lor general n urma
rspunsurilor schematice pe care corespondenii din rile respective le-au dat la
ntrebri privitoare la: mari magistrale i cldiri simbolice construite sub comunism,
marile ansambluri, zone industriale dezvoltate n aceast perioad, transportul n
comun etc. Dup tiina mea, dei cam schematic ca problematizare (i prin
aceasta prea simplificatoare), o astfel de abordare este prima de acest fel i foarte
necesar pentru nelegerea fenomenului. De atunci s-au mai organizat i alte
asemenea analize.

With a minimalist and highly artistic overall design, the exhibition encapsulateo
significant "moments" experienced by large East European cities. In additi
to these, several plans/scale models attempted to summarise the geneca
development thereof, based on the concise answers provided by corresponderts
from the countries in question to questions regarding: main roads or syrnbo;
buildings constructed during the communist era, large complexes, indus"
areas developed during the period, public transportation vehicles etc. To
knowledge, although too generic in its identification of the set of relevant topics
(and thereby too reductive), such an approach is the first of its kind and higll!J
necessary in order to understand the phenomenon. Since then, other sirn
comparisons have been made.

MUMFORD, Eric, The CIAM Discourse on Urbanism,

1928-1960, MIT Press,

MUMFORD, Eric, The CIAM discourse on Urbanism,

1928-1960, MIT Press.

2000.

2000.

3
Acest studiu, reprezentativ pentru evoluia paralel a celor dou lumi, este
nc n desfurare. Am consultat numai rapoartele aflate la ndemn n arhivele
Uniunii Internaionale a Arhitecilor din Paris.

3
This research, significant for paraliel evolution in the two "worlds", is
in progress. I have consulted only the reports available in the archives of
International Union of Architects in Paris.

4
CHATELET, Anne-Marie, .L'architecte dans l'Europe liberale", in CALLEBAT,
Louis, Histoire de I'architecte, 1998.

4
CHATELET, Anne-Marie, "L'architecte dans l'Europe liberale", in
CALLEBAT, Histoire de I'architecte, Flamarion, 1998.

CITIND TCEREA: "ARHITECTUL FERICIT"

*** Contribuie la simpozionul COLLAGE

organizat
la Rotterdam n

EUROPA,

de NAi (Nederlands Architectuurinstituut)


noiembrie 2004.

Contribution to the COLLAGE EUROPA symposi


organised by NAi (Nederlands Architectuurinstituut)
Rotterdam, November 2004.

***

*** Romanian translation: Miruna Stroe

*** Traducere n romn: Miruna Stroe

deea acestei lucrri a venit n urma expoziiei de la NAi


(Nederlands Architectuurinstituut)
care i propune s
compare dezvoltarea oraelor de ambele pri ale Cortinei de
1
Fier. Se pare c pot fi detectate asemnri ntre cele dou
tipuri de dezvoltare, iar aceast idee este foarte simpatizat
n mediul arhitectural romnesc, poate chiar prea mult, dup
opinia mea. Ca arhitect care a trit sub comunism, m feresc
de concluzii pripite n aceast privin, fiindc aparenele pot
fi periculos de amgitoare. Acesta este motivul pentru care
voi ncerca s privesc condiia arhitectului sub comunism,
pentru c ea constituie un fundal al produciei de arhitectur.
Este i o nou ocazie s repun problema "tcerii arhitecilor",
ntrebare formulat n contribuia mea la volumul Ideals in
Concrete (care s-a lansat cu aceast ocazie).
Pentru a explora ambele direcii, voi aduce n discuie
momentele cnd arhitecii din ambele "lumi" s-au ntlnit i
au dezbtut subiecte profesionale comune, nu la intensitatea
de vrf a avangardei, ci la un nivel mediu, mai curnd
conservator. nseamn c am ncercat s gsesc diverse
indicii, nu n lucrrile radicale ale CIAM-urilor (Congres
Internationaux de I'architecture moderne, care intenionau s
smulg violent arhitectura din impasul su academic i "s
o curee"),' ci n procesele verbale ale congreselor Uniunii
Internaionale a Arhitecilor i ale predecesorilor si (CPIA Comite permanent international des architectes - i R.I.A. Reunions Internationales d'Architectes).3 nc de la nceput,
aceste "ONG-uri" au cutat s stabileasc standarde ct mai
nalte i uniforme pentru practica de arhitectur, confruntat
cu schimbrile structurale ale societii industriale; ei au
ncercat, ntr-un fel, s "geometrizeze" procesul de definire i
recunoatere oficial a profesiunii de ctre noile democraii
liberale, proces care luase forme diverse (i uneori chiar
4

for this paper came to me from the NAi ex


hebition,ideawhich
aimed to compare urban development
either side of the lron Curtain.' It seems that similarities
be detected in these separate developments, and this is a:
idea that is also viewed favourably in Romanian architecturaJ
circles, in my opinion. As an architect who lived under co
munism, I am cautious of drawing hasty conclusions in thi
respect, since appearances can be dangerously specio
This is why I shall attempt to examine the state of the archi
tectural profession under communism, since it constitut
a background for architectural production. It will also be
opportunity to continue the interrogation of "architects'
.
lence" formulated in my contribution to the volume Ideals iJ
Concrete, which I presented at the symposium.
In order to explore both avenues, I shall bring into play t
moments when architects from both "worlds" met and d
bated common professional issues at a middling, conserv
tive level, rather than at the most fervent level of the avant
garde. This means I have tried to discover various clues
not in the radical works of the CIAM (aimed at drastica!
breaking architecture's
academic deadlock and cleenin;
up the profession)," but in the minutes of the International
Union of Architects and the congresses of its predecesso
(CPIA - Comite permanent international des architectes, al
RIA - Reunions Internationales o'Archttectesv From the ve
beginning, these "NGOs" have tried to set higher and mo
uniform standards for an architectural practice challenged
by the structural changes of industrial society; they tried
somehow to "geometrise" the ongoing process of defini
and officially recognising the profession in the new libe
democracies, a process that had taken various (often conflicting) forms in the member countries.'

conflictuale) n rile membre.

98

L-

1
Expoziia a cuprins, ntr-un sobru i deosebit de_artistic design de ansamblu,
"momente" semnificative din marile orae din Est. In afara acestora, o serie de
planuri-machet ncercau s sistematizeze dezvoltarea lor general n urma
rspunsurilor schematice pe care corespondenii din rile respective le-au dat la
ntrebri privitoare la: mari magistrale i cldiri simbolice construite sub comunism,
marile ansambluri, zone industriale dezvoltate n aceast perioad, transportul n
comun etc. Dup tiina mea, dei cam schematic ca problematizare (i prin
aceasta prea simplificatoare), o astfel de abordare este prima de acest fel i foarte
necesar pentru nelegerea fenomenului. De atunci s-au mai organizat i alte
asemenea analize.

With a minimalist and highly artistic overall design, the exhibition encapsulalad
significant "moments" experienced by large East European cities. In additi
to these, several plans/scale models attempted to summarise the genem
development thereof, based on the concise answers provided by correspondoois
from the countries in question to questions regarding: main roads or symboli::
buildings constructed during the communist era, large complexes, indus"
areas developed during the period, public transportation vehicles etc. To
knowledge, although too generic in its identification of the set of relevant topics
(and thereby too reductive), such an approach is the first of its kind and highIJ
necessary in order to understand the phenomenon. Since then, other sim
comparisons have been made.

MUMFORD, Eric, The CIAM Discourse on Urbanism,

1928-1960, MIT Press,

MUMFORD, Eric, The CIAM discourse on Urbanism,

1928-1960, MIT Press.

2000.

2000.

3
Acest studiu, reprezentativ pentru evoluia paralel a celor dou lumi, este
nc n desfurare. Am consultat numai rapoartele aflate la ndemn n arhivele
Uniunii Internaionale a Arhitecilor din Paris.

3
This research, significant for parallel evolution in the two "worlds", is
in progress. I have consulted only the reports available in the archives of
International Union of Architects in Paris.

4
CHATELET, Anne-Marie, .L'architecte dans l'Europe liberale", in CALLEBAT,
Louis, Histoire de I'architecte, 1998.

4
CHATELET, Anne-Marie, "L'architecte dans l'Europe liberale", in
CALLEBAT, Histoire de I'architecte, Flamarion, 1998.

CITIND TCEREA: "ARHITECTUL FERICIT"

.~

*** Comunicare la simpozionul ON DIFFERENCE,

organizat de
WurttembergischerKunstvereindin Stuttgart n 21 May 2005.

*** Contribution to the symposium ON DIFFERENCE, organised by


the WurttembergischerKunstvereinin Stuttgart, 21 May 2005.

*** Publicat anterior n Secolul 21, nr. 6-9/2005 "Dreapta-stnga.

*** Publishedin Romanianin Secolul 21 , Nos. 6-9, 2005 as "Dreapta-stnga. Explorareaconceptelor (Right-Left. Explorationof Concepts)".

Explorareaconceptelor".
*** Peaceastcale, in s mulumesccu toat gratitudineadoamnei

MarianaCelac pentru prima traducere a textului n limba romni


pentru implicita critic a primei forme n engleza textului.

cena dezvoltrii arhitecturii n timpul comunismului s-a


dovedit a fi un subiect de cercetare complicat i - n
termeni de experien uman - un moment ct se poate de
tulburtor: un nod de fire nclcite, legnd politic, construcii
i oameni, idealuri, mistificri i drame umane, o schem
ambigu care se descifreaz i se interpreteaz cu greutate.
De la prima citire a perioadei, Dou cri, visul comunist i
Dacia 1300, am ncercat s m uit ceva mai atent la cteva
faete pe care primul studiu le-a atins fugitiv. Una dintre
acestea este ceea ce am numit "arhitectur ocult".1

Prima problem pe care o ridic subiectul este legat de


chiar definirea lui, lucru nu tocmai simplu atta vreme ct, n
general, comunismul a avut i o dimensiune obscur, ocult,
inevitabil reflectat de toate aspectele vieii umane ale acelei
perioade. O investigaie cuprinztoare privind natura confuz
i contradictorie a comunismului este un subiect de factur
mai curnd filosofic. Eu sunt ns arhitect, atent n primul
rnd la chestiunile arhitecturale. De aceea voi recurge la o
delimitare "tehnic", mai specific, a subiectului; respectiv,
m voi referi la acea parte a activitii de construcie care a
fost ntr-un fel sau altul scoas de sub incidena planificrii
comuniste fiind manevrat de membrii "cercului interior"
n propriul interes privat. Din aceast perspectiv, evident
reductiv, dimensiunea "ocult" s-ar putea urmri prin trei
"indicatori": (1) absena unei teme scrise de arhitectur, deci
a unor date precise privind programul funcional, economic,
estetic (aceste date erau transmise prin canale obscure,
sibiline), aspect n total opoziie cu supra-reglementarea
activitii obinuite de proiectare, (2) nonalana financiar, i
ea n total contradicie cu obligaiile de economicitate i de
egalitarism aplicate oricror celorlalte construcii, (3) absena
acestei arhitecturi din publicaiile curente, protejarea ei de
orice expunere public, n contradicie din nou cu folosirea
extins a arhitecturii pentru scopurile propagandei. Aparent,
2
aceast arhitectur nu exist.

1
A fi putut s o numesc "arhitectur paralel", termen care descrie destul
de exact subiectul. Am ales atributul "ocult", mai degrab, pentru fora sa
metaforic.
2

112

Faptul introduce mari dificulti n documentare,

de aceea cele care urmeaz

ARHITECTURA CARE NU A EXISTAT: "ARHITECTURA OCULT"

*** On this occasion, I would like express my gracious thanks to

MarianaCelacfor the Romaniantranslation of this text, and for the


implicit critique of its initial Englishform.

esearch into the scene of architectural development under


communism tumed out to be a complieated and - in human
terms - a troubling experience: a clew of tangled threads linki. '.o;
politics, buildings and people, ideals, mystifications and hum
dramas, an abstruse plot difficult to decipher and to interpre
Since my first reading of this scene (Two Books, the Communi
Dream and Daeia 1300), I have tried to go deeper into some
the aspects that this study has touched upon only fleetingly.
One of them is what I have called "occult" architecture.'

My first concem with regard to this topic is how to define .


which is not at aII simple, insofar as Communism in genera
had an obscure, EVEN MYSTIC oecult dimension, inevitab'
reflected in aII the fields of human life of that period. Such ar
(all-embracing) inquiry into the contradictory and confusec
nature of Communism is rather a philosophical rnatter. As I a;an architect, I shall try to be more specific from the architee
perspective and to delimit my topic "technically": to be precise
I shall refer to the area of building activity that was som
exempt from the Communist planning, and was manoeuvred _
the members of the "inner circle" in their own private interes;
From this obviously reductive perspective, there are thra:;
"indicators" of the "occult" dimension to be traced: (1)
absence of any written architectural theme, of any precise
concern ing the functional, economic, aesthetic progr.
(these data were transmitted through obscure, sib
channels), totally opposite to the overregulation of usual d
activity, (2) financial nonchalanee, in total contradiction
.
economical and egalitarian approach to aII other buildings. _
the absence of this architecture from architectural publicat'
its protection from aII public exposure, again at odds
the common use of architecture as a propagandistic i-:r-

==

Apparently, this architecture did not exist."


I could have named it "parallel architecture", which also describes
defining features/aspects of this hidden area of architectural production. Ho
I have opted for the adjective occult, given its metaphorical force: t ""
in a more provocative way to the secretive, arcane, nature of the ,
establishment's modus operandi. Thus, I think that "occult" architectt.re '"
in keeping with the more ludic elements of this text.
2
This makes documentation difficult and, at least at this stage of the r~
have to rely on the testimonies of the architects (unfortunately dwindling ~ that were involved in the design of these buildings. I would like to exteoo
gratitude.

n 1990, 90-95% din populaia Bucuretiului, centralismul


extrem, maniera ocult de transmisie a .Jndicalllor", cerina
confuz a unei monumentaliti decorative, pe care nici el i
nici anturajul lui nu reuesc s-o articuleze altfel dect prin
vechea sintagm a formei naionale.

was to live by 1990, extreme centralism, the "occult"


which "indications" were conveyed, the unclear req .
for decorative monumentality, which neither Ceauescu
entourage managed to articulate except by recourse to .,
syntagmata of the national form.

n noile condiii de arbitrariu politic i de control paroxistic,


spaiul libertii i al argumentului profesional se restrnge
drastic. Canalele de comunicare cu cultura occidental
se nchid i ele n aceeai perioad, aa c orice posibil
paralel se oprete aici. Noua form prescris e cu att mai
dominatoare cu ct este mai neexplicit; ea trebuie doar "s
plac". Dovad stau machetele de volum i de faad pentru
Casa Poporului care i se ofereau lui Ceauescu spre alegere,
in situ, la scara 1/1. Muli arhiteci prsesc ara, iar cei care
rrnn sunt redui la condiia de slujitori cu abiliti tehnice,
chemai s execute ordinele "singurului arhitect". Profesiunea
de arhitect nu e doar naionalizat; spaiul ei de micare este
pur i simplu devastat." Cnd opinia profesional se mai
aude, ea ia forme disidente pe care puterea se grbete s le
nbuse, aa c puini sunt cei care le af1.29i n acelai timp,
tinerii absolveni se grbesc s lucreze la "marile proiecte"
ale lui Ceauescu pentru a rmne n Bucureti, ceea este
i mai trist. Finalmente, sistemul de arhitectur instaurat n
1952 pentru a servi proiectului comunist i dovedete din
plin eficacitatea imoral.

In the new context of political arbitrari ness and paroxys


trol, the area of freedom and professional argument was
cally restricted. The channels of communication with
culture were blocked in the same period, so any possibe
ogy stops here. The new prescribed form is aII the more
neering because it is less explicit; it is meant only "to
The in situ volumetric and facade 1/1 rnock-ups for the
House that were offered to Ceauescu to choose fn
witness to that. Many architects left the country, '
who stayed were demoted to servants with technica.
asked to carry out the orders of the "sole architect". T'-~
fession was not only nationalised, but also its space
terly devastated." When professional opinions were
aII, they adopted dissident forms that the regime quic'
so few people caught wind of thern." At the same ti
university graduates were eager to work on Ceaues .
projects" in order to stay in Bucharest, which was
der. Ultimately, the architectural system established ,- order to serve the communist project fully proved "
effectiveness.

N CHIP DE CONCLUZIE

IN PLACE OF A CONCLUSION

Dei nu-mi face nici o plcere s-o spun, cercetrile de pn


acum nu fac dect s-mi ntreasc prerea c, n Romnia,
proiectul comunist n beton se traduce prin istoria unei
traume a profesiunii - chiar dac exist i realizri notabile
(i ele incontestabil exist). Poate c e o interpretare prea
emoional, dar ceea ce vd n arhitectura noastr astzi m
face s cred c a fost un traumatism i c nc i resimim
consecinele. Aa c mi vine greu s accept ca atare idei
privind neutralitatea formelor n raport cu conjuncturile
politice care le circumscriu sau despre similitudinile cu
arhitectura occidental - din punctul meu de vedere iluzorii.
Nu cred c o astfel de poziie poate constitui o premis
suficient de solid pentru a descrie cuprinztor evoluia
arhitecturii sub comunism. Cred ns c asumarea lucid a
acestei traume ne poate ajuta s evalum arhitectura acestei
perioade, i pe noi nine, cu un alt ochi: ochiul normalitii
privind o anormalitate. Ceea ce nu e uor, pentru c, aa
cum a spus-o istoricul Lucian Boia, comunismul a fost o
capcan a istoriei i, ca n orice capcan, e mai uor s intri
dect s iei.30

Although I take no pleasure in saying it, the research so "z:


strengthens my opinion that in Romania the comtmi
in concrete can be translated into the history of a
the profession - even if there were some outstandi
ments (which, undeniably, exist). Perhaps this is too 2"
tional reading, but what I can see in our present arch,.."..-I
production makes me believe that it was indeed a
we still endure its consequences. I therefore find .
cept as such ideas regarding the neutrality of forms in n
their encapsulating political circumstances or regardi
ties to Western architecture, which, from my point o' .
illusory. I do not think that these ideas can be premises
enough for a thorough description of the evolution of a
ture under communism. But I do believe that, if we I .
up to the trauma, it will ultimately help us to evaluate ti."
tecture of this period and ourselves from a different pers,
with the eye of normality looking upon an abnormality. '1
not easy, since, as historian Lucian Boia said, commu, .
a trap set by history and, as with any trap, it is easier .
than to get out. 30

28 Vezi Arhiteci n timpul dictaturii. Amintiri, cit. i ENESCU, Ion Mircea, Arhitect
, sub comunism, Ed. Paideia, 2006.
29 Despre actele de opoziie ale profesorilor Mircea A1ifanti, Ascanio Damian.
Grigore Ionescu, Aurelian Tricu i Peter Derer, vezi ZAHARlADE. A.M. Doua
visul comunist i Dacia 1300. n acest vo1u-,.
30

BOlA. L.c2,.-:. ~

~!-::
=2= s:o,,-:-"'=.= z :~"':~ _-;;-= :;;

=-_

28 See Arhiteci n timpul dictaturii. Aminrili. cre ard 100


Arhitect sub comunism. Paw.a 2006.
29

-----.CE:"

3:- ..!~~

~,7UCr;E~e

_-L:.E

=- ~,-.