URBAN EDITING: REDO.UNDO.SHIFT.PASTE.CUT

FIVE SCENARIOS IN THE REINTERPRETATION OF THE CIVIC CENTRE IN POST-COMMUNIST BUCHAREST

AWARD: Distinction

2012 | Bucharest | Romania

After decades of oppressive regimes, the Romanian transition experience from communist to democratic
rule was marked by a period of mass confusion and disillusionment, which also manifested across the
urban and architectural urban practices: the absence of private property, the forced urbanization following Ceausescu’s megalomaniac aspirations and the large scale impromptu capitalist investments that jolted the numbed urban fabric of the newly decolonized country, gave rise to a series of new challenges marked by poverty and social isolation. In addition, while some domains found it easier to make the transition towards a democratic rule, the gaping wounds left by the uncompleted socialist urban and architectural project were far more difficult to address by the newly-emergent leadership.

Envisaging the long overdue development of an official master plan for the central area of the city, the thesis seeks to explore the different possibilities in reinterpreting the Union Boulevard and the House
of People area: integral restoration, re-sacralization, endless recombination (montage city), transference and complete erasure. An overview of the local history, of the international approaches in tackling the phenomenon of urban fragmentation and similar case studies were analyzed in order to define the actual grounds on which change can occur.

Keywords: fragmentation, communist architecture, deconstructivism, montage, Bucharest, post communism.

Project made possible by support from Manchester School of Architecture, The University of Bucharest.

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