Urban Patterns in Bucharest

Margo in Wonderland
8, October, 2014
Winter Views 2014
4, January, 2015

Urban Patterns in Bucharest


Click to view full gallery on Flickr

Vintage lenses:
20mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss Flektogon MC
28mm f3.5 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
35mm f2.4 Carl Zeiss Flektogon MC
50mm f1.8 Pentaflex auto-Color
100mm f3.5 SOM Berthiot Paris Flor

Bucharest, Romania

Welcome to Bucharest, the capital of Romania. The largest and busiest city in the country, Bucharest has many faces and an interesting vibe. In the last century only, it has seen two World Wars, fifty years of communist regime, the 1989 Revolution and the uneasy age that followed. It is a city of contrast, fascinated by innovation and movement, in search of cohesion and coherence. As the city is struggling to keep up with events, one can find peaceful streets that remind of the 19th century, apartment buildings built in the hardcore communist era of the 1980's, modern residential areas, as well as poor, slum-like, cottages.

The truth is that we both love and pity Bucharest, what's most important is that it keeps us entertained. So, we decided to celebrate this by searching for different urban patterns, meaningful details that tell a story about the city and its people.

In the first episodes of the series, we chose to focus on what lies above the street level. Bucharest has a very interesting eclectic architecture, so the mixture of styles plays the major part in the story: from houses that have Byzantine, Turkish or Italian Late Renaissance elements to the Bauhaus, cubist, neo-Romanian or Art Deco ones. A number of them were designed by Italian and French architects, while others by Romanian architects such as Ion Mincu, Marcel Iancu, Horia Creanga, Duiliu Marcu, Petre Antonescu, Octav Doicescu, George Matei Cantacuzino. As time went by, it became increasingly difficult to refresh the old buildings because of the high costs and lack of expertise – now even more so, as they rarely prove a worthy investment. As a consequence, many of them decayed, some were demolished and a few were saved. All in all, a lot of voices competed in this tournament full of emotions in which the city proved a tough opponent.

So we decided to explore the urban patterns above the street level, hoping that all the angles and the frames will be there. And they were, reminding that Bucharest is like a guilty pleasure, where “I want to do it again” and “What have I done?” tell only a part of the story.

Bucharest is 555 years old this year, so enjoy it while it lasts!