Vernacular Art Deco

Vernacular Art Deco house dating from the 1960s, Buzau, south east Romania (©Valentin Mandache)

The modest house pictured above is located in one of the quarters of Buzau, a county town in south east Romania, being one of the many interesting examples of vernacular Art Deco style dwellings built by craftsmen and “DIY” private individuals throughout Romania between the late 1930s until the mid-1970s when the communist regime severely restricted the building of houses by private individuals. I like the porthole windows that decorate the loft area and the stairs like profile of the front yard wall top – gable end, which are the Art Deco “hallmarks” of this house. Usually the vernacular versions of the consecrated architectural styles follow models of local prestigious buildings, which then get disseminated within the local area. I documented such a vernacular dissemination instance for Buzau area in the case of an Art Nouveau roof eave ornament, seen at this link that follows a model displayed by the local Buzau Commune Palace, the most important and also magnificent building in the county. For the Art Deco case illustrated in the above photograph, the model must have also been a great edifice with high prestige among the locals such as a 1930s state of the art hospital or a cinema where the latest Hollywood productions would have been the delight of the natives then.


I endeavour through this daily series of daily 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 Contactpage of this weblog.