Oct 042009

English version

Many first-class modernist and Art-Deco buildings were erected in Bucharest between 1920 and the beginning of the WWII. Among them, this cylindrical tower on Doamnei Street designed by architect H. Stern in 1935. You don’t get to see many buildings like this one and that is why I like it despite its shabby look and dire need for renovation. Unfortunately the red dot at the base of the building tells us that the tower is most likely doomed. The red dot reads “This building has been appraised by technical expertise to fall within seismic risk class I”. I don’t know if you are aware but Romania (especially its southern part) lies in an earthquake area. The last big earthquake was in 1977. It had a magnitude of 7.2 and it killed around 1600 people and about 35.000 buildings were damaged.The buildings appraised as class I present a major risk of collapse in case of an earthquake of magnitude 7 of higher on Richter scale. Since more than 30 years have passed since the last big one, people are whispering that there’s time for the next one. Every year some fortune teller predicts the day the next big earthquake will take place and many people living in buildings like the one in today’s photo take to the streets for the day “just in case”.

  7 Responses to “Beware of the red dot”

  1. REally you live in an earthquake area? To bad of the building, I love the 20-30 architecture. My first notion was that it is from the communist building area. But I think they never really liked round forms.
    A bit of paint and it would look beautifull again…

  2. I have always liked round or rounded buildings and this one is not exception. A bit spruced up he could join the ranks of the many roundies of the period. They may be unpractical inside, but they never went completely out of fashion. I hope that the technical evaluation is, as usual, a bit pessimistic…

  3. Have you ever been to Montevideo in Uruguay? The similarities in architecture of Bucharest and Montevideo are striking and fascinating. Bucharest seems to be rich in architectural styles. I think this building is a classic representative of the International style (Bauhaus). You will find a lot of Bauhaus buildings in Montevideo, too. Hope this building can be saved somehow. It's terrific!

  4. I haven't been to Montevideo yet but who knows… Maybe this winter (or summer for you guys)

  5. It would be sad to see this building demolished but to refurbish it might cost much more than tearing this one down and building anew. Very sad, though.

  6. someone up is right .. the style is not Art Deco
    it Romanian Modernism….close to Bauhaus


  7. I like this building. It looks a bit dark, but it is noticable and it is only about 70 kilometers away from my hometown 🙂
    Greetings from Bulgaria and hope to visit your beautifull capital this spring. I have to learn some Romanian first 😛

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>