The metal roofing of the Little Paris style houses

A Little Paris style house, the provincial, western inspired architecture of Bucharest and many urban centres of the La Belle Epoque Romania, is as, a norm, provided with metallic roofing; sheets of metal seamed together, giving it a peculiar modern aspect for those times. This type of roofing is exceedingly safer in case of fire, compared with the traditional wooden shingle roofing of Bucharest houses. That material were highly inflammable, contributing to devastating fires, culminating with the Great Fire of 1847. That event made the authorities and the locals to look for safer materials. The change of architectural tastes from provincial Ottoman to Little Paris, was another reason for adopting the metal roofing. That became widely adopted only when the metal sheet materials for roofing became cheaper and accessible, which has happened after 1879, once the railway to the Habsburg town of Brasov was opened, and the products of the industrialised Austro-Hungary penetrated Bucharest’s and Romania’s markets. This video details this contorted process reflected in the mass adoption of metal sheet roofing for the urban dwellings of Little Paris style architecture in Romania’s capital.

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My aim, through this series of blog articles, is to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania and Southeast Europe, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of world’s architectural history and heritage.

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If you have a historic house project in Romania or other country in Southeast Europe, I would be delighted to advise you in aspects pertaining to its architectural history and ways to preserve as much as possible from its period fabric and aesthetics in the course of restoration or renovation works, or to counsel you with specialist consultancy work related to that project. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this website.

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