Dimitrie Cuclin House

74 Dionisie Lupu St., sector 1, Bucharest

At the end of the instance of exuberance expressed by the “Mediterranean” style, architect George Damian projects, in 1947, at 74 Dionisie Lupu Street, a slender, soaring building, a vertical accent implanted among houses of reduced height.  Meant as a categoric perspective end of Jules Michelet Street, the building, with its almost symmetrical imposition onto the street, shares modernist principles of volume composition. These volumes reveal themselves on the façade via the clearly defined registers, balconies protruding from the building’s surface like suspended rectangular open drawers, vertical profiles similar to a frame which keeps window openings close together. The Mediterranean-flavoured decorative details however are reflective of the architect’s appetite for the style that in fact established him. The upper side of the building concentrates these derogations from the explicit modernism by the two double-sided gothic windows and the ornaments blooming on the frames. Ornament excess dares become extrovert by means of several other elements – the small cantilevers supporting both the strong corniche or the balconies on the central stripe.

Such principles and decorations aside, the building is pregnant with the names that lived between its walls, among them its architect himself. Once ceded to the Writers Union in the second half of the 20th century, it was also known as “the intelligentsia building”, gathering many important figures in local culture. Another proof of this is the extended memorial plaque naming Mihnea Gheorghiu, Al. Andriţoiu, Anda Boldur, Ovidiu S. Crohmălniceanu, Dana Dumitriu, Valeriu Munteanu, Marin Preda, Catinca Ralea, Niculae Stoian, Al. I. Ştefănescu, Nicolae Tăutu. The building was also inhabited by Toma George Maiorescu, Mihai Stoian, Emanoil Petrut, journalist Mioara Cremene, film director Geo Saizescu and composer Dimitrie Cuclin.

Andreea Mihaela Chircă