Never Finished Art Deco House

Never finished Art Deco house, dating from cca 1939, just before the start of the WWII. Targoviste, southern Romania (©Valentin Mandache)

Last Sunday I went for a short architectural photo trip to Targoviste, the erstwhile capital of the former principality of Wallachia (the city had that status until 550 years ago when the prince Vlad the Impaler started to use Bucharest as a princely seat instead, thus gradually ending Targoviste’s status as the capital city). I posted a series of photographs taken that day on the Twitter and Twitpic websites, which proved very popular, with one image standing out as the most noted, namely an unfinished Art Deco style house dating from the start of the WWII (it was also re-Twitted by the account of the British TV station Channel 4- Homes programme, which probably helped to spread the news). I am now also posting that image here in order to bring it to the attention of a wider audience. It is indeed quite rare to find still unfinished Art Deco style houses anywhere in the world, as is the case here, a fact which can bring first hand insights into the construction methods of that era. The house was built, I believe, sometime just before the war, in 1939, when it reached more or less the present state. Because the dreary conditions caused by the onset of the war, which was very calamitous for Romania, it was left in that state. The end of the war and the ensuing more than six decades period were again probably quite unfavourable for the owners of this building to afford its completion, thus perpetuating its ‘never finished’ house status. I very much like how the exposed brick and the raw concrete bits give the impression of a new and very modern building, although in fact is a veritable time capsule.


I endeavor through this series of daily articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.


If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.


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