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Romanian Modernism: The Architecture of Bucharest, 1920-1940

Romanian Modernism: The Architecture of Bucharest, 1920-1940

by Luminiţa Machedon and Ernie Scoffham

"Romanian Modernism, seduces the reader with a treasure of well preserved buildings that express the cultural values of this important movement. The architecture and urbanism of Romanian Modernism is one of the best-kept secrets of the early Modern period."—Ligia Slovic, Rave University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences

"This book is little short of a revelation. It celebrates an extraordinarily rich period of architectural production which will now be much better known outside the country of origin. I put the book down itching to travel to Romania, excited by the quantity and quality of the works, a canon of buildings dominated by a sense of collective joy."—David Dunster Roscoe, Professor of Architecture, The University of Liverpool

"Romanian Modernism is an original contribution in the theory and history of modern architecture in Eastern Europe. Well documented and clearly written, the book informs the contemporary reader about the particular extent of architectural creativity in interwar Romania and analizes the idiosyncratic adoption of the archetypes of the Modern Movement and the avant-garde within Romanian architecture."—Doina Petrescu, Iowa State University

The return to Romania of avant-garde intellectuals from abroad during the 1920s stimulated radical changes that permeated and transformed Romanian society. During the 1930s Romania's cultural, technical, and artistic achievements rivaled those of Western Europe and in some respects surpassed them. This is the first book in English to reveal the extent to which modern architecture flourished in Romania––and is still visible as a neglected and almost forgotten past amid the contradictions of present-day Bucharest. Luminiţa Machedon and Ernie Scoffham focus on Bucharest between the two world wars. They show how the Dadaist Marcel Janco and others influenced the adoption of progressive policies, including the city's Master Plan of 1934, which became one of the most forward-looking plans in Europe and served the city's administration until well after the Second World War. Much of the text is based on archival research in Bucharest, on the journalism of the period, and on a small number of critical publications, both during the interwar years and since. Most of the period illustrations have never been published outside of Romania, and some are being published here for the first time. Included are photographs and drawings of buildings no longer in existence, as well as drawings of significant unrealized projects. The foreword is by Serban Cantacuzino, former editor of The Architectural Review and Secretary of the Royal Fine Art Commission in London. Published with the assistance of the Getty Grant Program.

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Hardcover
352 pages
MIT Press, 1999
9.1 x 1.4 x 10.1 inches
ISBN 9780262133487
Romania, Architecture, Modernism

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