This is a rare architectural history find: a Neo-Romanian style garden gazebo. I know of just three other such examples throughout Bucharest, one of them documented on this blog at the following link. The structure dates, looking at its tell tale features, from the first part of the 1930s (what I call the late phase of the Neo-Romanian style) and in all probability was preceded by a pavilion in the Little Paris (what I term the local architecture inspired from French c19th historicist styles) or another pre-Great War design. The reason I am supposing that is because the construction sits within the courtyard of a Little Paris house dating form the 1900s, betrayed in this photograph by clamshell awning peculiar of that era, visible in the upper right corner area. The garden pavilion, even in the ramshackle condition in which is found now, conveys the beautiful semi-rural atmosphere of old patriarchal Bucharest, a flash back image of the pleasant city which once was, before the industrialization of the communist era and overpopulation and neglect occasioned by the wild economic boom and bust cycles of the 2000s.
The Neo-Romanian style garden architecture is a bit of a Cinderella among the various design branches in which this order is expressed, although in my opinion is one of the most interesting offshoots of the Romanian national style. A good example in that regard is the garden bench presented in the image above, which I photographed in Cotroceni historic quarter of Bucharest during one of my recent architectural walking tours there. It is practically part of the building, enlivening its garden façade, linking seamlessly edifice and nature. The outlines of the bench are inspired from the shape of princely thrones found in the medieval Ottoman Balkan world. It is quite possible that the garden was also provided with a gazebo in the past decades, such as the one which I documented at this link, which presumably made that space a splendid green corner, so much in tone with the identity of old Bucharest.
The old central Bucharest is a compact urban space with not much land available for laying out private gardens or even ampler backyards. Many of the gardens that existed there in the c19th or early c20th were built over in the course of time or gradually reduced in size as the city developed and new buildings were erected. It is sometimes possible to find within the courtyard of some of the period houses remnants of the previous garden architecture and artefacts that once embellished long gone verdant plots. I have thus been very pleased to find the rare Neo-Romanian style gazebo pavilion pictured in the image above, well hidden at the bottom of a narrow courtyard in Calea Calarasi area. The structure has once stood within a larger landscaped plot, which has since been partitioned and built over. It is less known that the Neo-Romanian style was also adapted for garden architecture, although that direction of development was incomparably less prominent or represented than in building architecture. Some Neo-Romanian gardens were laid out within the grounds of the Romanian royal palaces such as the Scroviste Palace north of Bucharest or within some areas of the Cotroceni Palace gardens, etc. This gazebo with its hallmark Neo-Romanian elements represented by the short arches and Ottoman Balkan church inspired arches is thus an uncommon occurrence, which if restored or renovated would greatly add to the quaintness and value of a Neo-Romanian style house.
I endeavor through this daily series of images and small 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 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.