Houses with Soul

Opening of the exhibition Sunday 16:00
The exhibition is opened daily until 9th October

Grandparents' House

The journal of an expedition in search of the grandparents’ house on the Vâlsan Valley

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The extraordinary adventures and the amazing discoveries belonging to a group of 20 curious and brave young men (architecture, urbanism, landscape architecture, sociology and anthropology students), of 5 excited professors (from both UAUIM – Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape Architecture universities – and the University of Bucharest – Sociology and History colleges) and also of two dedicated guides (from UAUIM and from the National Village Museum) who despite of July 2015’s heat and dryness dared to wonder for about a week through the Vâlsan’s wild valley, its hills covered with a dense shady forest, keeping watch over the valley, uncovering the 9 hidden villages and hamlets, scattered in the clearings and glades from the plateaux which deploy from the flanks and crests of these hills. They could record not one, not two, nor 5 or 7, but over 75 old grandparents’ houses which are original and unaltered by time or human’s intervention. Each house, each household, each annex was photographed, drawn and listed along with their entire inventory. The people we met were asked to tell about their houses and dwellings, those of their neighbours that are no more, to account or to sing what they still recalled of their youth.

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The Colda House


Built by a goldsmith miner from Colda descent, in 1851, the house with wooden beams structure has three rooms, a pantry, a porch on the courtyard facades and shingles roof without chimney. In 2004, the breath of the house has extinguished, together with the Colda family's elders. So RPER found it like this in 2011 during its exploration research field in Ţara Moţilor Between 2011 and 2016, the house was restored in the site – school organized by RPER and Museum ASTRA, being driven by private financing. In 21th 2016 the stoves have again started to roar, the smoke to slip through the shingles, the cold and hot water to flow from taps in kitchen and bathroom, and the mattress filled with corn leaf (in romanian: "strujac") from "pulled" beds rippling under our heavy sleep. 165 years younger, Colda House Colda from Bucium Poieni has found breath and can tell us the stories of gold spirit.


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The Blazons House

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The building was erected at the beginning of 19th century, and underwent a radical intervention when it was extended with polygonal room located in the extremity of the veranda which was opposite to the entrance and the façade was adorned with stucco decorations molded in position, with ornaments inspired from the vegetal world (symbols of the tree of life). It is interesting to notice the row of circular blazons adorning the parapet of the balcony where the central piece bears the symbol of the bicephalous eagle. From the initial stage there survived the colonnade and the front main beam of the balcony handmade of oak wood, with symbolical ornaments. The restoring intervention focused on salvaging all valuable elements that survived, namely the balcony colonnade with hand – chiseled poles and the upper beam withintricate decorations, suggesting ram horns, sun circle, symbolic ancient motifs and stucco ornaments molded in position dating since 1826. The restoration also included repairing some of the original doors that belonged to the building since mid-18th century, preserving all components not badly affected by rottenness. There have been preserved a series of eaves cantilevers; in our opinion the present – day form of the roof, with a break of the slope at the base of cover dates from the beginning of 19th century.

The Enescu House from Mihăileni, a project for solidarity.

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Situated in the Northwestern part of the Botoșani County, near the border with the Ukraine, in a hilly region, on the left bank of the Molnița River and overlooking the Siret River, Mihăileni is the cradle of George Enescu’s childhood. The village was founded by royal charter in 1838, as a border market with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, shortly becoming thriving with a rich cultural community. By actions taken by the International Society "George Enescu" in Vienna, the house was ranked as a historic monument on November 29, 2013. Between the 4th and 14th of August 2014 OAR through its subsidiaries in Bucharest and in the Northeast together with the Pro Patrimonio Foundation organized an emergency intervention to protect the house. This was achieved through volunteers and donations, the work being conducted by a team of local craftsmen in the presence of volunteers who documented the site. It’s important to note the diversity of jobs that were made though the goodwill of the teams of craftsmen who keep the traditional building methods, assisted and aided by volunteers from everywhere, students, and others who love and want to keep the rural traditions alive in all its manifestations.

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The Diploma Projects

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Alexandra Petrișor - Armonia Brassovia Community / One of the Houses

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Oana Codru - Household in Gara Village / The Bench, The Garden

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Teodora Pascanu - Straws Workshop in Lanurile Village

The diploma projects presented here seek to recover a praxis in which the place, the type and the craftmanship are all put together into the making of the house, wether it’s a residence or something else. It’s an attempt to escape from the conceptual dogma, where „the author” is compelled to abandon his most priceless posession, being isolated inside himself and exterior to the things of his concern. One can see here two fundamentally different ways of thinking and thus of practicing architecture. The first one comes from before, from what is called tradition of making and building, wether is vernacular and thus more closed to the surrounding things or from the internal of the cult architecture which reproduces again and again well polished models. The second one is the isolated thinking, that belongs to an author, an intellectual who thinks solitary.