Cella Delavrancea House

151 Mihai Eminescu St., sector 2, Bucharest

Embraced by the old suburbs which formed around Precupeții Vechi Church, on the street today named after poet Mihai Eminescu, at no. 151 we find a house looking discreetly with its corner at its neighbourhood and corresponding gardens. Although of an impressive appearance, it sits on the ground with both power and elegance, gradually growing taller and with subtle receding spaces, in a perpetual, mannerly dialogue with the street, the trees, its own courtyard, its neighbours. We can clearly read the intention an orderly façade composition in the horizontal bosses bordering the house from the base up to the ornamented cornice. The upper register indulges, decoration-wise, in the coffered ceiling punctuated by its structural elements, enriched as it is with floral motifs and bas reliefs by the windows.

There’s quite a savoury juxtaposition, one might say, between the rigorously built face of the outside and the creative fervour that we can easily imagine the inside hid when these spaces were animated by Cella Delavrancea. Looking and listening closer, we can still see the reverberation of the walls vibrating with the rhythms of the piano and of people’s chatter as they crossed the threshold of not only a house, but of a world.

Right by, in the same courtyard, at no. 149 we discover another architecture, shaped by Cella’s sister, architect Henrietta Delavrancea-Gibory, who by designing her own house in 1925 gives us the first (albeit timid) clues on what would be a Romanian, locally adapted temperate modernism.

*The current mode of functioning and the architecture of the Cella Delavrancea house were affected by recent nonconform interventions.

Andreea Mihaela Chircă