Stairwells of Bucharest’s Art Deco houses – September ’11 update

I naturally have less oportunities to go or be invited inside a period house and investigate its entrails, compared with the relative ease of studying such an edifice from outside. From among those fewer opportunities I would like to present you here three interesting examples of  Art Deco house stairwells that embellish mid-1930s Bucharest apartment houses in that style.

The stairwell of a Bucharest Art Deco house, Mantuleasa area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The above photograph presents an interesting circle spiral stairwell with an off centre shaft, which apart from its structural role, it also gives a nice aesthetic “twist” to the whole design assemble.

The stairwell of a Bucharest Art Deco house, Iancului Area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The stairwell in the second image is a rectangular spiral example that leaves a square section air column in the middle, which is very much in tone with the exterior Art Deco – Modernist architecture of the edifice that hosts it.

The stairwell of a Bucharest Art Deco house, Pache Protopopescu area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The picture above shows a rounded corner rectangular staircase, photographed from the top down. It looks quite heavy, with the rounded corners managing to attenuate just a small fraction form that impression.

The stairwell of a Bucharest Art Deco house, Foisorul de Foc area, house dating from 1940. (©Valentin Mandache)

In this example the stairs are provided with a simple metal balustrade, which gives it an impression of airiness within the confined space of the stairwell.

The stairwell of a Bucharest Art Deco house, Patriarchy Hill area, house dating from the early 1930s. (©Valentin Mandache)

The last example present the case of a stairwell that had to use a very limited amount of space horizontally, having left only a small air column at it centre. The corseted impression is somehow attenuated by the quite ornate ironwork of the balustrade.

Art Deco stairwell, mid-1930s house, Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The stairwell above is placed within a very tight shaft in high density area of the city. I like the impression given by the tight together stair steps and the steep pointing rail, which even in these unpromising circumstances is also embellished with a series of Art Deco ornaments.

The stairwell of a late 1930s Art Deco apartment house in Dorobanti area of Buharest (©Valentin Mandache)

A stern looking stairwell, impression amplified by the whitewash paint, which is also in very much in tone with the type of Art Deco architecture of the buildings.

Triangular shape stairwell shaft, early 1930s apartment house in Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The above photograph shows a more unusual triangular section shaft. I like the way how the stairwell is adapted to it and the use of wrought iron ornaments in these more special circumstances.

I like these quaint examples of interior architecture presented here, as they have the quality to convey something authentic, in my opinion, from the air and life that went on behind the walls of Bucharest’s inter-war houses.


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


If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.


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