March 29, 2011

[MyWorld] Building a Controversy

Today I show you an unusual piece of architecture you will either love or hate. It's not a building to elicit tapioca responses and thus has been the subject of lively controversy.

This is the headquarters of the Romanian Architects' Union.

Bucharest, 2011

The bottom stone portion are the remains of a circa 1890 house in Bucharest called Casa Paucescu. It was occupied by the infamous Securitate, the secret police of communist Romania, and was destroyed during the Romanian anti-communist Revolution of December 1989.

In 2003 architects Zeno Bogdanescu and Dan Marin designed and built this modern glass structure inside and on top of the ruins, preserving the remains of the original house as a memorial to the revolution.



So, what do you say... love? hate? was it worth preserving this part of the historic building with a grim past?

Original Casa Pucescu

Linking with MyWorld Tuesday.

21 comments:

Sylvia K said...

I love the reason they saved it, but it's a dreadful looking piece of architecture in itself! But I will say this, it is UNIQUE!! to be sure! Terrific shots for the day, Francisca! Hope all is going well! Have a great week!

Sylvia

jennyfreckles said...

Oh, that's really weird - but I support the idea of preserving the reminder of the past even if I don't like the building.

Scrappy Grams said...

Love both kinds of buildings, but not together! Yuk!

aka Penelope said...

In my part of the world it is becoming more typical to incorporate an older building (unusable but with historic value) with a more modern design. The weaving of old and new requires some thought so that the result will flow somewhat like a poem. From the perspective of your photos, I see the intentions of the design statement might have been good. Architecturally the new overpowers the old. Although the older building suggests it could stand alone as a reminder of its dark past, it is the people who walk by it daily who have their say.

Gary Orona said...

Dark or not, the memory remains even without the building. The architects, like all the others in this profession would never tear an old building no matter what purpose it served. It is the design of the past architecture they wanted to preserve. Not the memories it left behind. Great shot Francisca! Thanks for sharing this.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots. This is really unusual. But they have done a good job of preserving remains of old structure.

Indrani said...

I believe in preserving all old things, lots to learn.

Luna Miranda said...

preserving historical structures is good, and although i don't exactly love this design, i guess it's symbolic. from a dark past, something modern has risen.:p

T. Becque said...

First, this is such an interesting post, so thank you for sharing. Finally, I'm not sure what I think about it, I like the idea of preserving the past, but then there's that top half...

cieldequimper said...

Absolutely worth it. But not like that...

Dina said...

Euww, too top-heavy!
But at least they "put a lid on" the Securitate.

biebkriebels said...

This looks awfull, I think they better can put the whole building down and make a nice new one.

joo said...

I love to see how cities change and how old mixes with new. It's an interesting example of such a mixture, and yes, I like it:)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Huh -- very thought provoking. Aside from the oddities of the architectural combo, it is interesting to think about whether a memorial to the atrocities of that regime should be preserved. I don't think we should destroy history even the evil parts nor obviously should be forget about it, but to memorialze it that way, I'm not sure. (In a way its a bit like the Confederate Flag over here -- no way do I think people who fly that are just remembering history, even though they try to claim so. But I wouldn't of course want to destroy, say, Fort Sumpter or other reminders of our sad past)

Back to your neck of the woods -- that combination building is really quite strange/ I surely wouldn't want to work in the new (or old) part of it.

Francisca said...

I am enjoying the thoughtful comments today. I just want to clarify that the intention is/was to memorialize the success of the revolution, that is, the overthrow of a despot by the name of Nicolae Ceausescu and communism (not the earlier inhabitants of the house). Today, Romania is a member of the EU with sustained democratic governance.

Ai KaiRui Liu said...

lovely shots...

visiting from My World...
mine's here:
http://kc2009.blogspot.com/2011/03/mag-aso-getaway.html

jeannette said...

I think it was worth preserving the original building! But I wish they would have put the top somewhere else!
Especially for architects one would think that they could have thought of a better solution?

GW Bill Miller said...

Such a thought provoking post today!

The old photo of the original building we see that it was handsome in its own way. It is a style that may be worth remembering. It should be remembering that it was not built for the Securitate, but as a wealthy mansion. It would seem to me that the new overcoming and overshadowing the old is the point of the design. Do I think it is pretty? No, but it is "interesting".

Andrea said...

The old building is very beautiful, but as cliche 'beauty is in the eye of...'. I wish they at least made half of the old bldg in front and just attach the new one at the back, making it more pleasing to the eye!

Ann said...

They ran out of of bricks? My husband will say, no bricks, in earthquake, they tumble.

JM said...

If you haven't shown us the original I would say I like the new structure as a whole thing, but now I just can't. Anyway it's always better than tearing down the old!