A bit off the Revolution Square, on the corner of Dem Dobrescu Street, lies one of the weirdest looking buildings in Bucharest. It’s the former Directia V Securitate building (Securitate was the secret police of communist Romania, the equivalent of KGB in Russia or Stasi in East Germany) and the current headquarters of the Romanian Architects’ Association. The lower part of the building are the remnant walls of the house (cca. 1890) which housed the secret police and was destroyed during the Romanian anti-communist Revolution of 1989. In 2003 the Romanian Architects’ Association built a modern building inside and on top of these ruins, the project being designed by architects Zeno Bogdănescu and Dan Marin. The building, like any solution of this type, created controversy and searching the web I found many forums where it was called “hideos”, “ugly” etc and people were saying that no wonder Bucharest is the arhitectural hodgepodge that it is, since its architects have chosen to have their headquarters in a buidling like this. But I think this attitude is a bit unfair. I mean, what was the alternative? The building was severely damaged and at the price of real estate in downtown Bucharest, the building shell would have been demolished and replaced with a glass structure like the upper part of this building. But in this way the history was preserved and it makes people wonder about the building’s past. Even though I can’t bring myself to say that I absolutely like it, I would have to admit that it’s an innovative solution.