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Bogdan Nitulescu, Tremend
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Early draft of modern living

Taking a quick glance at the heritage of one of Romania’s most important women architects

September 2009 - From the Print Edition

Some of the most precious work of Romanian architecture took place in the 1930s where a talented generation of designers created a network of stunning residences and public buildings in the capital and the seaside residence of Balcic, then a part of the greater Romanian kingdom.
On display at the National Museum of Arts is a brief introduction and showcase of the works of one of these key figures, Henrieta Delavrancea-Gibory, where visitors can see photos, plans and projects of her Modernist and Art Deco-inspired private homes and pavilions.
Delavrancea-Gibory (1894-1987) built up a strong portfolio of classic Interwar residences and is a rare example of a woman architect in a profession not known for embracing equal opportunities.
Many of her works are inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, with open-plan interiors, large windows and wide doors, which fit seamlessly into the landscape by complementing the surrounding nature or urban design. They lack the harsh functionality of later Modernist and Brutalist forms.
Many of these designs still have a freshness and the concepts of Delavrancea-Gibory and her contemporaries have inspired a new generation of Romanian architects to create villas in the last decade that assume many of the best Modernist qualities.
One of the brightest examples is the iconic Eliza Bratianu house in Balcic (pictured). This includes an early example of reconverting a traditional 19th century home with modern fittings. The redesign highlights Balkanic motifs and the beauty of the structures, while adding modern tastes and conveniences which do not jar with the building’s heritage.

Henrieta Delavrancea-Gibory (1930-1940)
Kretzulescu Rooms
National Museum of Arts (MNAR)
49 – 53 Calea Victoriei
Until 20 September

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