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.
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.Luminita 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.