Alexandru Flechtenmacher House

15 Ferdinand I Ave., Bucharest

The stories of Bucharest sometimes reveal unexpected events, then unexpected connections that allow our imagination to stitch together apparently disparate fragments, little personal histories interwoven into the great fabric of the city. Such as, for instance, the two “twin houses”, of almost identical architectural details, at numbers 13 and 15 on Ferdinand Avenue. Beyond the architectural bond there is the joy of discovery, and of a “musical” thread that connects them. At different times, number 15 belonged to Alexandru Flechtenmacher (the end of the 19th century) and number 13 was inhabited by Pascal and Annie Bentoiu.

The year 1896, imprinted on the façade of one of the houses, most likely represents the year of its “birth”. Among the multiple shared particularities there is the fact that they open, though with distinct roles, to both Ferdinand Avenue and Olari Street. The main access, which once had a glass canopy, of course faced Ferdinand Avenue. The large room on the street extended via a greenhouse enveloped in a glass wall on metallic structure, south-oriented, a particular space caught between the inside (from where it was still able to enjoy the sun and the vegetation) and the outside (whose perpetual rush and temple-like Greek church it still tranquilly watched). The greenhouse at number 15 and all its metallic elements were later coated with tin plate. Ornament concentration differentiates the houses in accordance to the street they show themselves to. This is why the side facing Ferdinand Avenue indulges in frames, profiles, a coffered ceiling, heavily ornamented corniches, skylights, while on the side on Olari Street the houses somewhat subside, without however completely abandoning their adornments. It is here, on this secondary street, that the sister buildings will differentiate their expression and yet preserve the architectural language that was typical of Bucharest at the end of the 19th century.

Andreea Mihaela Chircă