Architecture Degree Programme at “Ion Mincu” University

The Faculty of Architecture / Architecture (English taught)
3rd Year, sem 2, 2020-2021

IT-12E | Modern and Contemporary Architecture in Romania

Compulsory Course | Hours/Week: 2C | ECTS Credits: 3

June-july 2020 Exam Session

IT-12E Proceedings MCAR 3rd year en s2 2019-2020.pdf

General info

Mca Course description 2019-2020 COVID.pdf


History & Theory of Architecture and Heritage Conservation
Course Leader:
lect.dr.arh. Irina Tulbure
Teaching Staff:

Lector dr. arh. Irina Tulbure-Moldovan

Learning outcomes:

To understand the historical developments in architecture and the urban changes in relation within the wider field of cultural, social and technological changes that took place in Romania in late 19th century until the end of 20th century;
To be able to define, according to the historical context, the dynamics of the local / national thinking and practice in architecture in relation with the broader context of the global architectural culture;
To develop a set of conceptual and visual tools and a critical approach in analyzing buildings.


This course provides an introduction to the history of modern architecture in Romania during the second half of 19th century until the end of 20th century. In order to create a more articulate vision of the architectural phenomenon, the course will explore the broader historical and cultural context emphasizing its role in the development of the architectural thinking and practice.
The lecture structure take into consideration a rough delimitation of the three main periods in the modern Romanian history of architecture: influences of the western architecture and the seek for a new expression during the late 19th century up until the beginning of the First World War; the variety of architectural directions and the assimilation of modernism in the Interwar period; the profound changes in architecture brought by the communist political system. Nuances and exceptions within the architectural development during these major periods will be discussed over the lectures, such as: the importance of the national style up until the end of the Second World War and its inner evolution; the emerge of a monumental style in the late 40s as a consequence of the political regime; the balance between modern and totalitarian architecture in the period that followed the end of the Second World War.
Each of the three main periods (1859-1918; 1918-1945; 1945-1989) will be discussed through different approaches: the general historical context, the particular context of the professional field, the transformations of the city, architectural typologies, aesthetic directions in architecture and a final particular approach based on particular case studies.
A general view over the political, economical and cultural context is considered necessary to be understood, as it had a major role in the formation of the modern architectural profession and theoretical thinking. Although a distinctive discipline, architecture always represented one of the important strands of culture. Therefore understanding the broad cultural phenomenon of each historical period gives a more precise and nuanced understanding of the architectural discourse.
Therefore, understanding the transformations in the urban context during this period of time is considered one of the key directions for assimilating the social changes and the modernization of the society and culture until the end of the interwar period. The urban transformations are also impetuous to understand while discussing the communist period, regarding the artificial growth of the cities and the brutal changes brought by the regime in the late 80s.
Architectural typologies (architectural programs) are directly related to particular periods in history and they are reflecting the needs and the requirements of the state and of the social structure, but also the aspirations of the different cultures. Such an approach is able to display the existent connections between the general mentality, the state decisions and the social transformations and the architectural thinking.
Aesthetics has been always inherently significant for the architectural thinking and usually reflected not only the professional approach, being connected with the major trend of culture but also with a political thinking, as it is reflected in the public buildings.
A detailed approach through particular case-studies (buildings, urban areas, or architects) offers a better comprehension, by referring to major issues such as the general discourse, the broader architectural practice.

Teaching Method:

This is mainly a lecture course (based on visual presentations) with the opportunity for questions, discussions.
For the English language group, the course is scheduled on Mondays, 12.30 (12.30-14.10), below you have the link, the ID and the meeting password (ZOOM):
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 922 3336 7917
Passcode: 858953


BOCĂNEȚ, Anca, “Marcel Janco – Architect” in Bucharest in the 1920-1940. Between Avant – garde and Modernism, Ed. Simetria, Bucharest, 1994, pp. 97-103
CRITICOS, Mihaela, „Deco Architecture in Romania” in Art-Deco or Well-Tempered Modernism, Ed. Simetria, Bucharest, 2009, pp. 232-252
KALLESTRUP, Shona, „Cradle of the Nation? National Style Debates and Romanian Palace Design” in ANDRIEUX Jean-Yves, CHEVALLIER Fabienne & KERVANTO NEVANLINNA Anja, Ideé Nationale et Architecture En Europe 1860-1919, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2006, pp. 303-313
MACHEDON, Luminița, MACHEDON Florin, „Modern Architecture in Romania 1920-1940” in in Bucharest in the 1920-1940. Between Avant – garde and Modernism, Ed. Simetria, Bucharest, 1994, pp. 69-90
ZAHARIADE, Ana Maria, Architecture in the Communist Project. Romania 1944-1989, Ed. Simetria, Bucharest, 2011, pp. 23-75
ZAHARIADE, Ana Maria, LASCU, Nicolae, “Horia Creangă’s Architecture” in Bucharest in the 1920-1940. Between Avant – garde and Modernism, Ed. Simetria, Bucharest, 1994, pp. 104-109

For building examples and visual documentation students are invite to use the collection of Arhitectura review between 1906-1989, on-line (1906-1944) and at UAUIM Library.