Art Deco Garage Doors Symbolism

In this video I describe the symbolism of a set of 1930s Art Deco garage doors, which I found during my research in Plantelor Area of Bucharest. They represent in an abstract, cubist-like, manner the working day – daylight cycle of a modern town of the inter-war period, such as Bucharest used to be.


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.


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.

Bratianu political family tomb, Florica domain

A short overview of the architecture of the tomb (1898 built) of the famous Bratianu family, the leaders of the Romanian Natioanl Liberal Party during the era of state building of the second part of the 19th c and the first half of the 20th c. The tomb is located on their estate at Florica in Wallachia, while the architect was Lecompte du Nouy, a French architect and former student of Viollet-le-Duc.SHOW LESS

Autumnal sky and clouds rushing over Antim Monastery, Bucharest

This is a small sample from Bucharest’s environmental identity: one of the city’s old churches, Antim Monastery, with its majestic cupola towers set against the beautiful autumnal blue sky, peppered with fast moving patches of clouds, so peculiar to this latitude, mid-way between the North Pole and the Equator, in continental Europe.

Bucharest ant superhighway

This is a sample of Bucharest’s environmental identity, a metropolis in south east Europe located midway between the North Pole and the Equator, with a temperate continental climate. We had quite an Indian Summer this October 2012 in Romania’s capital, with some apple or chestnut trees flowering again, or ant colonies, such as is the case here, being highly energized to look for food or change the place of their colony, when they should normally prepare for hibernation. Is this another proof that there is a climate change process going on?

The Zodiacs of Bucharest: Photomontage, Video & Slide Show

Art Deco style zodiacal signs decorating the Zodiac Fountain of Bucharest, built in 1935, Carol Park area. (©Valentin Mandache)

Exquisite design zodiacal signs are present on two of the most iconic Bucharest architectural creations: the Zodiac Fountain from the Carol Park and the Zodiac apartment block on Calea Dorobanti street. The fountain was built on the occasion of the 1935 Bucharest Fête, a month long popular festival with great allegorical processions celebrating the Romanian national identity, organised by the government, under the patronage of King Carol II that imitated similar events organised in Mussolinian Italy or Hitler’s Germany, countries whose ideologies started to exercise a powerful influence in Romania of that period. The architect of the fountain is Octav Doicescu and the graphic representations in black and white mosaic pieces are the work of Mac Constantinescu. The style of the design is a modernist Art Deco, although the structure displays some obvious historicist features. The second such iconic building examined in this post is the Zodiac apartment bloc, located in the Dorobanti area, a very imposing edifice erected in 1946, after the end of the devastating Second World War and in the last year of King Michael’s reign, only months before the communists forced him to abdicate in December that year. The building is an excellent modernist design by the architects Radu Dudescu and Mircea Marinescu, decorated with sixteen panels representig the signs of the zodiac, creations of the artist Constantin Baraschi. The whole assembly is a testimony of the intensely creative atmosphere present in Bucharest just after the war that soon got strangled by the oncoming communist dictatorship. The image above shows a photomontage composed from close up images of the signs on the Zodiac Fountain. The fountain together with the Zodiac building are also discussed in the video that follows the text and are also presented in the slide show bellow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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 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.