Urban Route

Zone A
1. Maria Lambru Villa - 1928
5 Popa Savu Street Published in Contimporanul, no. 79, 1929 This is the first villa built by Iancu in the new North residential area of Bucharest.

Marcel Iancu
6. Hermina Hassner Villa - 1937
32 Pictor Iscovescu Street This is one of the last projects that Iancu designed in Romania. It was also realized after the period in which he had designed tenement houses. This house commission and the banker Hassner’s generous budget, allowed Iancu the freedom to experiment. He also integrated paintings, sculptures and cubist stained glass windows in the design. Above the hall fireplace was located his famous painting, Jardin du Luxembourg (1928), while the front door was enlivened by one of Mili\a P[tra§cu’s base-reliefs; neither of these survive.
Smaranda Br[escu

The beginnings of modern architecture in Bucharest 1929 - 1938
el V

7. Emil P[tra§cu Villa - 1937
19 Pictor Ion Negulici Street Dwelling and sculpture studio. Located in the luxurious residential district of the city, Emil P[tra§cu Villa is the last villa that Marcel Iancu built in Bucharest. The building comprises two flats and a sculpture studio for his friend, the artist Mili\a P[tra§cu. The most interesting part of this building is the double-storey studio. The wall of the studio facing the street is dominated by a huge metal-framed window, which in the initial project continued along the side façade. Mili\a P[tra§cu was an important avant-garde artist. She was active in the Contimporanul group and participated in art exhibitions with Marcel Iancu.
Feleacul
Elena Cara

Ion Movil[ Vas ile L asc [r

Parcul Ioanid
Dum bra

va

Ro§

ie

Io n

S.Darvari

Gr[dina Icoanei
I .L .C a ra

V tor Pic

na ero

Ico

e an

i

Vii

T oa m ne

i

st ru

Sf. Spiridon

laic u
Maria Rose

lui toru

Bd.
Salc ]mil

Dac

10. Clara Iancu Building - 1931

ia
C[lu§ei

17
or
Olt
Ven

D. P a

ciur

ea
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tti

Mar

Si

ia R

aru
i

To am ne

Vas ile L asc [r

alei

Tomas Masaryk Aron Florian
I.L
Bat

Ar me ne as c[

Jean

Sl[n

or

9
ule asa

Sf. ±tefan

±te f

ic

10
Mo § il lea

Pla

an

Pia\a Presei Libere

Parcul "Her[str[u"

ica Fabr

de

glucoz

[

3. Paul Wexler Villa - 1931
36 Grigore Mora Street Published in Contimporanul, no.102, 1932, and in Alberto Sartoris (Gli elementi dell’architettura razionale, Milano, 1932) Paul Wexler Villa was built for a rich family in the new residential district in the north area of the city. It has a functional interior space distribution with communicating living spaces and a big garden terrace and some additional rooms on the top floor. Significantly, Iancu himself chose this dwelling to be published in a work dealing with modern architecture, a major European reference book on architecture.
Pia\a Montreal

Ca

Muzeul Satului

Expozi

\iei
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o

eg

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l Flo

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u

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te

torilor

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Bd.
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18

e f[n ± te Zbo rulu i

scu

Traian

Pia\a at Rosetti m ai Dr .R C e .C un nu risti ca Pia\a is ea r an re in t ilo Universit[\ii T in in\ ol Sf B i l\e Co Ivo Andric
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ei

o§ilo aM Cale

r

uc

hia

n

15
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nte

lor
ghe Bur tor Doc

Mi h[

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Popa Soar

Ce

rnic

a

M] nt

or ust

i

Popa Soare
m Ro

C. Kiri\escu

2 Charles de Gaulle Square Company headquarters and block of flats, ground floor and 7 upper floors. Built for the Bazaltin Company (which specialized in bridge and road construction) this is counted among Iancu’s rare projects, as it goes beyond residential architecture. The building, which is altered today, comprised three main functional areas: the headquarters of the company, a luxurious apartment stretching over several floors on the right side, and a tenement building with two studio flats and two flats on each floor on the left side.

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M[guricea

v. Al .

n
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p Po

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z du

Sp

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e

u us L a R icu

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[ta

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ri

Traia

rul

i i§te

Serghiescu

Mo §il o

2. Bazaltin Building - 1935

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tr aS

oic

i

Zece

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ca

C

. .A

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Str o

tti ose

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Ru m eo ar a
Mes e

16
Traian

etre
Ip[

20 Caimatei Street Published in Contimporanul no. 102/1923 The building, constructed for Marcel Iancu’s wife Clara, was financed by the architect himself, and from 1931 the Iancu family lived there. The Iancu brothers’ Bureau for Modern Studies was probably located on the top floor. There is one flat on each floor. On the ground floor - slightly sunken - there were garages and service rooms. Iancu was very interested in dynamic and sculptural façades, as in Villa Fuchs.

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r

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iei

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raf

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asc

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vi\[ aco

roto che P

pope

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Lat in[

11. Frida Cohen Building - 1935
17 Stelea Sp[tarul Street This is the tallest building designed by Iancu and it conforms stylistically to the general direction followed by Bucharest modernism. It is composed of two units, each with its own main staircase. All current floors of each unit contain two flats and a studio flat. The façade overlooking the plaza is concave and narrow, the lateral façade being more planar; the particular aesthetic interest of this work resides in the effect of its applied profile.
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F. Robe scu

12. Paul Ilu\[ villa with laboratory 1931–1935
23 Olari Street One-family house, ground floor and two upper floors Laboratory - ground floor and two upper floors The villa and its furniture were designed for one of Iancu’s relatives, the pharmacist Paul Ilu\[. The laboratory for pharmaceutical products was built in 1935. The house has been well preserved with no alterations, which is so rare among Iancu’s constructions.

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Chopi n

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Garib

4. Florica Reich Villa - 1936
39 Grigore Mora Street Published in Alberto Sartoris (Gli elementi dell’architettura razionale, Milano, 1937) The villa belonged to the Reich family who were fur merchants. Iancu’s interior design expressed his idea of incorporating the applied arts in architecture. Grigore Mora Art Gallery is now housed on the top floor of the building.
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sc

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Jean

Popa Savu

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49 Kiseleff Highway Published in Contimporanul, no. 96-98, 1931, and in Architecture d’aujourd’hui, no. 5/1934 This building today holds the residence of the Ambassador of Venezuela. Built for the Chih[escu family, it is a modern interpretation of the classical villa theme based on a central plan. In front of the house there it was a sculpture by Mili\a P[tra§cu.

Tub

E. Zola

Bitolia Iliescu Av. T. ±tefan Tudor cu Negules ±tefan cu Andrees Av. M.
Gh. B
Turbinei

Ha gi Gh i\[

Gh. M atac

Za blo vs Ga ch i lac tio n

Tu rd a

Ga la

Doam na Ghi ca

Ion Arh.
Ion Ne cu lce

Mincu

Rabat Aleea Alex and ru
Mo dro gan

la zue ne Ve

a ±coal

Florea

sca

nta Sf]

arh .G rigo re

N

es . Ion

cu

Ion Arh.

Mincu

G. Demetriad

cu

M.

Gh

Bd

Ion esc u

Andrei Mure§ianu Pia\a Sofia Doroban\ilor
ra ka An

Ab ru d

[nc

iules

Du

icu

le

as a

.G

h

ime Tre

Jos Scheiul de

Ot

e§ a

Ma ior C] mp ine an u

Roma

At

ianu or V Tud
ru ita

ni

ar

h.

Pe

t re

t An

o

s ne

cu

±o

Rossini E. B otez

Bd

.L

mit

rac

he

n Ba

T ica

ei

Ale

xa n

dru

s. C

eroz

Muzeul Zambaccian

ul

Arh

elor

Popa Savu

z

acu

l Te

i

cel

Bu

n

ole

. Io

5. Florica Chih[escu Villa - 1930

Traian

an

ac h

Izla

V. Dr[ghiceanu

scu C. Arice Zamfir Pu\ul lui

nB

nti

u

e
San
eru Cluc

lor en\i \ul D oc b an Doro

efan Av. ±t vici Popo n Andrei dor D. Daria Coman inescu nstant N. Co C[linescu George

opes Protop

cu

Glinka

Glinka

ri T mu Ra

ei
Op

na

Gh

ica

M.

Clu

C[ uz a§

Ca

n

Uru

y gua

Cl

lea

or

i

M[r [§ti

An

to

vT Le

Pic to

nP

Uruguay

an

n

te rani§ riu B Vale
Vulturilo r

liu Iu

rR

ols

Isc ov es cu

e os

i to

lus Romu

h sc ra Ba

Ne

ha nt l

]n Sf

li gu

Gri

ran he Te

Do

mu

Olt

eni

I. Filibiliu
An to

Tu

erb .±

ci

go re

zla

Gh . |i\ Vid

ta

Mo

an

±os . Kis elef f
u§ u Burc tian Br[ G h.
dor Petö fi

Vin

isil

in

eic

Aro me

a

er

Zam

amnei Teiul Do

ce

i

scu Staroste t etra uT Iuli

rea

bile

i

Cap. Bu lugea

Pia\a Unirii

Negru Vod[

sa

nP

an

13. Poldi Chapier Building - 1935
n
Dr. Maximilian Popper

ane z

lor

Luig iG alv ani
C.F.R.

Po

B
Splaiul Unirii

C[uza§i

pp

er

8

Bd. Unirii

16A Dimitrie Onciu Street Built in the same residential area as the Chapier house, the building was obviously a real estate investment. Its aesthetics are not particularly expressive, the architect merely following a stylistic formula that conformed to the general direction of late 30’s Bucharest modernism. It’s interesting that the executed façade is different from the design submitted for the building permit.

Do rin

r rilo [ta Lop lui toru Pas t r lafa ple Ca Ke es ann Joh l iffe ul E Turn

Cr

Pa vel

iste aM

ea ranc elav uD Barb

ate e sc

lui

u

a

en

Londra

Bruxelles

ris

Pa

Ian iB uz oia nu

lui Domnu Maica

t Bo E. ez

an\ rob Do lea Ca

Te iu lD

Ispravnicului

oa m

± os . Kis elef f

ne

Var§ovia

i

Belgrad

a bon Lisa

Parcul Circului

±oituzului

H.

P

an m m .A Th

P]rgarilor

Zone B
8. Housing in Trinit[\ii Alley
25-29 Maximilian Popper Street (Maior Zenovie and Vame§ul Raco\eanu Streets) In 1922 Herman Iancu, Marcel Iancu’s father, opened an alley in the old Trinit[\ii Street. Marcel Iancu built the first modernist house in Bucharest there in 1926, while the remaining part of the allotment was approved 8 years later. The Iancu brothers designed 13 buildings on this land. These are set back from the street line and include an apartment at each level. Parts of these buildings have been demolished and other sections restored.

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14. Poldi Chapier House - 1929
4 General Ip[tescu Alley Published in Contimporanul, no. 93-94-95, 1930 The house was built for Iancu’s friend, the lawyer Poldi Chapier, a former high school colleague and member of the Simbolul group (1912).

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55 Maximilian Popper Street Built for the architect’s father, this building’s design is unusual for two reasons. Its alignment was determined by a town hall regulation facilitating the opening of a new street, and it must also be attached to an existing structure. Marcel Iancu lived in one of the apartments until 1931, when he moved out to Caimatei Street. Marcel Iancu's studio occupied the top floor of the building, which was smaller in plan than those below, and does not appear in the construction authorization. The house is remarkable for its artistic qualities, the architect having exercised great freedom in a house he designed for himself. This aesthetic experiment recalls a plaster relief he created in Zürich, after 1917. The most spectacular feature of the building was the colourism of its façade. The aesthetic qualities expressed in this building, known as the first example of modern architecture in Romania, are not typical of later development of Modernism in Bucharest. Its polychrome façade and its exceptional shape would have been a confronting sight to the inhabitants of this quiet area, situated near Hala Traian. This building represents an important phase of Iancu’s architecture, when his artistic interests were more noticeable.

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15. Building of unidentified owner - (probably 1935)
3 Pictor ±tefan Luchian Street This was one of Iancu’s largest projects of this kind, a luxurious tenement house. The entrance is marked by an inconspicuous vertical register with small balconies and a base-relief by Mili\a P[tra§cu. The building needs structural consolidation and has been considered exposed to a high degree of seismic risk.

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16. Alexandrescu Building - 1935
179 Traian Street Marcel Iancu was probably commissioned by Mircea Eliade (a very famous historian of religions) to design this house for his sister, Mrs. Alexandrescu. Built in the old center of Bucharest, the building has one apartment on each floor.

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9. Jacques Costin Building - 1933
5 Paleologu Street The building was commisioned by Iancu’s brother in law, Jacques Costin. The lawyer Jacques Costin was a fervent member of the Contimporanul group. He also wrote avant-gard texts like Exercise for the right hand and Don Quijote, illustrated by Marcel Iancu and Mili\a P[tra§cu. The building to the right is also designed by Iancu. It seems that the building to the left was built by Iancu as well, though no evidence for this has yet been discovered. Iancu lived with his family on the first floor of the building and his studio was located on the ground floor. According to some of his contemporaries’ reminiscences, the walls of his flat were covered with frescoes and the furniture was designed by Iancu himself. Finally, the façade looks entirely different from the one submitted for the authorization permit. This address is mentioned as the administration office of Contimporanul and also in building permits for the houses built by Iancu after 1934.

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17. Jean Juster Villa - 1931
75 Silvestru Street This villa was built for Jean Juster, a banker, in the central area of Bucharest and was a very luxurious dwelling. Iancu placed the main staircase within the façade, by employing a protruding cylindrical volume that plays an essential role in its composition. The initial formula had a canopy, demolished in 1977 after the earthquake.

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18. Solly Gold Building - 1934
34 Hristo Botev Street Built in 1934, this is a small, luxurious tenement house with four flats of different sizes. The plan of the tenement is an irregular pentagon with three of its façades aligned to the streets; the flats are placed around the main central staircase.It is probably one of the most spectacular buildings designed by Marcel Iancu.

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Urban route

Marcel Iancu
The beginnings of modern architecture in Bucharest 1929 - 1938
This urban route constitutes an introduction to Bucharest’s modern architecture, through the work of Marcel Iancu (1895-1984), one of its initiators. The itinerary comprises two main zones of Bucharest, the North and the Center of the city, known in the ‘30s as the Yellow sector and the Black sector. This selection of buildings includes 18 houses and blocks that are emblematic of the beginning of modern architecture in Bucharest, drawing attention to this very interesting “layer” of the city. The buildings have been designed by Marcel Iancu, sometimes with the support of his brother Iuliu. Together they owned an architecture office called the Bureau of Modern Studies. Because most of the buildings have been changed in a major way, it is necessary to compare present images with original ones. Thus, the thematic map is illustrated with drawings and documents published in periodicals of the time (1924-1938). Documents selected from the construction authorizations preserved in Bucharest’s City Hall Archive and images from periodicals of the time have been added, in order to give a clearer representation of the buildings’ initial aspects. An important reference was the research included in the catalogue Marcel Iancu Centenary 1895-1995, Simetria, Bucharest, 1996, coordinated by Anca Boc[ne\, Nicolae Lascu and Ana Maria Zahariade. The route offers you a chance to explore Bucharest’s urban and social history. It also provides tools to evaluate contrasts between ‘20s and ‘30s architecture, and the communist and post-communist styles. The words of Marcel Iancu, concerning Bucharest and its utopia are still as The Sciences and Voyages Journal, 1932 persuasive today as they were in the past: “I feel it’s imperative that Bucharest should be reconstructed; I have tried to sketch a new urban orientation that can be perceived as utopian. In fact, urbanism is an art that should scrutinize into the future. The city builders lacking foresight will be always left behind real life.” (Towards an Architecture of Bucharest, Bucharest, 1935). “… We undergo a stage of full recovery. The buildings in the commercial center grow higher and higher, the old and uncomfortable houses make room for central “blockhouses”, while the very few courtyards and gardens vanish every minute …” In 1935 attitudes to Bucharest’s urban future were very optimistic: “… Luckily, Bucharest is a young town, at the beginning of its urban growth, and thus spared of the exaggerated architectural development that led to unhealthy and overcrowded Western towns during the last century… Should we follow the same chain of mistakes that Western countries already have experienced and finally learnt their lesson?” “… What we can do in Bucharest today, cannot be achieved in the future. Modern style demands modern urban planning.“ “… Thus in 50 years, Bucharest will turn into a happy, healthy town with gardens, a garden-city with parks and palaces… Every age has its own picturesque landscape and, no matter how pathetic ruins may look, we vote for the present, colorful life and its picturesque ambiance. We have no time to lament over the past; our duty is to see what we can do about the future...” In Urbanism, by no means romanticism, an article from 1932, published in Ora§ul (The City), Iancu underlines his trust in a visionary attitude, leaving behind the past and its nostalgias: “… Our city, the capital of our country, is summoned to take up a European form and goal… ... The modern house is just one facet of the new interior life organization, tightly intertwined with urbanism. The essence of the whole new architectural problem lies in the balance and coordination of exterior and interior values.” (Contimporanul, September, 1931). At the same time as the proclamation of his esthetic program in Contimporanul, Iancu published many articles in periodicals such as Ora§ul (The town), Arta §i Ora§ul (The Arts and

deserves mention because it represented Iancu’s decisive step towards modernism. The Fuchs villa was also one of the very rare cases in which details concerning the architectclient relationship are known, including the latter’s influence on the project. In an interview published in 1930 in Rampa magazine, Iancu declared: “The first modernist house in Bucharest was also the first of this kind in Romania. I built it for a wine merchant who happened to read foreign art magazines and seemed to enjoy new architecture. He told me he had one million lei and a building lot and would give me a free hand. All he wanted was a modernist house.” The novelty of this design drew the public’s attention and shocked many people. In the same interview Iancu recalled that: “The house I built in that area was a sensation. The priest, the policeman and the people were convinced that I had erected a laboratory which was out of place in their neighborhood”. The critics, inspired by the people’s reactions, were ironical and skeptical about this kind of new architecture: “The neighbors can’t understand why instead of the traditional windows the house has but one window, covering the whole width of the façade, like a morgue display window. Instead of one attic window, usually placed in the roof, there are three, as if there were first class

Fuchs Villa

It is actually ironic that the critical ambience of Bucharest in the 1930s, when Iancu and his modernist fellows protested against deplorable systematization, is to an extent being repeated nowadays. Among the buildings that have suffered are those which were built in the period between the wars – including Iancu’s houses. Many buildings situated in the areas where Marcel Iancu’s houses are located were demolished during the communist period and after 1989. Many of those which were not demolished are nevertheless in a very bad state of preservation. Buildings like that designed by Iancu which is located on Pictor ±tefan Luchian Street are in urgent need of structural consolidation. Moreover, the social and legislative situations of these buildings reflect closely the historical and political events of the last 75 years. First, most of the buildings’ Jewish owners suffered violent Legionary persecution (the extreme right party) around the end of the 1930s, and certain houses have witnessed bloody scenes (as Jacques Costin house). Iancu himself was forced to go into exile in Palestine, in 1941. After World War II and the installation of the communist regime, most of the proprieties were appropriated by the Communist State, through the Nationalization Law (no. 119, July 11, 1948) Marcel Iancu – and the Decree of April 1950, which listed buildings to be Jacques Costin nationalized (“buildings owned by former industrial entrepreneurs, former landed gentry, former bankers, former important business men and other elements of the high bourgeoisie”). In some situations, the owners had to accept tenants in their own houses. Most of Iancu brothers’ clients belonged to this category. Their buildings consequently suffered changes brought about by the nationalization process and were also ‘transformed’ socially. This can be observed particularly in those areas where many buildings were demolished during the communist period, for example around the Herman Iancu house, located on Maximilian Popper Street. Some houses and apartments have, in recent years, been affected by the development of legislation concerning propriety and, in keeping with the Restitution Law no. 10 of 2001, have been returned to their owners. Architecture drawings, published in Contimporanul, 1925

Dada movement. As a member of the Dadaist group, Iancu conducted his first experiments in collage, abstract relief and sculpture. These works are considered among the most courageous and original experiments in abstract art. During this period the artist came into contact with the most important personalities of the international avant-garde of Italy, France and Germany. Along with Hans Arp, Alberto Giacometti, Baumann, and Tauber, Marcel Iancu formed the group Das Neue Leben in 1918. The group held a series of exhibitions, lectures and manifest-demonstrations in the cities of Switzerland. After a brief period spent in France, Marcel Iancu returned to Bucharest. From 1921, for ten years, together with Ion Vinea, Iancu was the editor of Contimporanul avantgarde magazine, in which he promoted his aesthetic ideas. Contimporanul was published weekly between 3 July 1922 and 7 July 1923, and monthly between April 1924 and January 1932. Mili\a P[tra§cu, B. Fundoianu, Felix Aderca, Ion C[lug[ru, Camil Petrescu, M.H. Maxy, and Victor Brauner were among frequent contributers to the magazine. Under the auspices of the publication were organized intensely promoted individual and group exhibitions. For example, a large international

The urban itinerary Marcel Iancu (Janco) - the beginnings of modern architecture in Bucharest was published in conjunction with the project Marcel Iancu (Janco) - the architect. The project is implemented by E-cart.ro Association with the support of the following partners: The Simetria Foundation for Urbanism and Architecture within The Chamber of Romanian Architects, The European Center of Culture in Sinaia, Australians Studying Abroad in Melbourne, Ra\iu Foundation UK, The Romanian Cultural Institute, C[rture§ti Book Stores. The project constitutes an interdisciplinary research of Marcel Iancu’s architecture. The project has benefited from the financial support of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund, Visual Arts and Architecture area 2008. Concept/ Project Coordinator: Project Manager: Research Coordinator: Researchers: PR: Research consultancy: Edited by: Graphic Design: Photos: Translation: Photografic credits: Doina Anghel Angelica Iacob Doina Anghel Ana Maria Guguian, Angelica Iacob, Mihai Pl[m[deal[, Augusta Milena Pop, Silvana Râpeanu Veronica Leca Alexandru Beldiman, Mariana Celac Simetria, E-cart.ro MBStudio - Marius Marcu-Lapadat, Octavian Carabela Octavian Carabela, Angelica Iacob, Mihai Pl[m[deal[ Angelica Iacob, Christopher Wood The National Museum of Romanian Literature The Romanian Academy Library Bucharest’s Town Hall Archive The National Museum of Art of Romania Editura Simetria

Special thanks to: The National Museum of Art of Romania, The Chamber of Romanian Arhitects, ±erban Sturdza, Christopher Wood, Irina Cajal, Elena Fluera§u, Daniel Nicolae, Cristina Caute§, Codru\a Cruceanu, Adrian Notz, ±tefana M[rmureanu, Monica Grigore, Ramona Mitric[, Irina Ionescu Printing house: S.C. COLOR DATA S.R.L. www.colordata.ro Copyright: 2008, E-cart.ro, Editura Simetria All rights reserved. This is a non profit publication printed in 5000 copies.

Marcel Iancu – cover of Contimporanul, October 1925

cabins in an ocean liner, while the garage looks like a local branch of the central crematorium.” It is noteworthy that all buildings constructed before 1934 by Marcel Iancu were signed, in the building permit, with the name of another architect (usually Constantin Simionescu). Marcel Iancu only gained the right to use his own signature in 1934, when he was accepted into the Chamber of Romanian Architects. The first modernist buildings designed by the Iancu brothers were built in 1926-1927. Suchard Pavilion, published in Contimporanul, 1926

exhibition was set up in December 1924, in which artists from all over Europe participated. From 1925, Contimporanul broadened its spectrum, publishing special editions accompanied by programmatic articles devoted to fine arts, architecture, sculpture, crafts, and to personalities such as Constantin Brâncu§i. Iancu published a series of drawings and presentations of buildings he had designed in Bucharest, and articles about urban planning, architecture and art in the pages of the magazine.

SIMETRIA

Media partners:

Marcel Iancu – Ion Vinea

Drawings for a country house Contimporanul, 1931 the City) in which he strongly promoted modernist ideas. Iancu accentuates the connection between modern architecture and avant-garde experiments, fully aware of his own contribution to the artistic avant-garde movement: “Modern architecture followed cubism.” He equally identifies strong ties with Dadaism, the esthetic movement to which he ascribes the idea of interconnections between abstract art and architecture. He payed special attention to the interior design of modern buildings; in his opinion, the characteristics of a modern interior are synonymous with the goals of “the new aesthetics”. This interest in interior design is reflected in some of his works included in this thematic map. Iancu introduced a new kind of modern residential architecture to Bucharest, the modern villa, built for a bourgeoisie with progressive views. The houses benefited from a kind of comfort that “pays no tribute to wealth”, as Iancu put it. Although the Villa Jean Fuchs (27 Negustori Street, 1927-1929) is severely altered, it

After a journey to Western Europe, to Germany (where Marcel Iancu might have seen certain achievements of the Bauhaus school) and France (where he met Robert Delaunay), Iancu returned to Bucharest and designed two houses on Trinit[\ii and Ceres streets, and a pavilion for the Suchard factory at Târgul Mo§ilor (an old fair of Bucharest). From the early 1930s, the Iancu brothers’ Bureau for Modern Studies received plenty of commissions. Mass media representatives and fellow architects thus began to pay attention to Iancu’s architecture. In January 1931, Contimporanul published a letter addressed to Marcel Iancu by the young architect G. M. Cantacuzino, who had just returned from studies in Paris. This letter is a declaration of commitment from G. M. Cantacuzino and represents the first public recognition of Marcel Iancu’s work voiced by an architect: “…You were the first to turn your back on the sterile, exhausted mentality in this country. In our chaotic, town ruled by mediocre and Balkan-like chaos and “petty triviality” as the poet Tudor Arghezi said, your healthy houses come up as healthy premises for a healthy future, when vigorous activity is not hindered by idle admiration of the past.“ The most original aspect of Marcel Iancu’s architectural work comes from his duality as a painter-architect. This feature is recognizable especially in the plastic solutions of his façades. The art critic Sandu Eliad wrote the most insightful remarks on Iancu’s architecture: “None of Marcel Iancu’s houses seem to look alike, though they have the same architectural basis, that is, a strict observance of the laws I have mentioned above (city regulation, physical laws of the material, technical possibilities and the economic demands). The diverse interplay of volumes, the daring rhythm of voids and compact walls, the alternation of verticals and horizontals, although derived form the arbitrary dictates of the requirements of the interior, all owe their symmetrical and asymmetrical equilibrium and architectural playfulness to his artistic sensitivity alone. Furthermore, the successful integration of the building into the atmosphere of the street and landscape is due to his being an Drawings for Villa and Cinema accomplished colorist.“ In the circle of Ora§ul (The City) publication, whose members numbered Sandu Eliad, Cicerone Theodorescu, and D. Anagnoste, Iancu was seen as: “the Romanian architect who enjoyed the most enviable reputation in the world of European modern architecture. When he returned to Romania his celebrity was already recognized. Being the leader of the avant-garde group of Contimporanul, Iancu remains the initiator of modern Romanian architecture, a complex artist who brings new and essential ideas. He is a real revolutionary.” (Ora§ul, 1934).

Painter, graphic artist, architect and theoretician, Marcel Iancu (Janco) is one of the most important personalities of the avant-garde movement. He was born to a Jewish family in Bucharest, in 1895. His work can be divided into three major periods: participation in founding and promoting the Dadaist movement from Zürich; leading the avant-garde group of Contimporanul in Bucharest; and engaging in reviving the artistic life of Israel. In 1983 he helped found the Dada museum in Ein Hod which bears his name.
Marcel Iancu was part of a group that centred on Simbolul (The Symbol) magazine, along with Tristan Tzara and Ion Vinea during his high school years in Bucharest (1912 to 1913). After completing high school, Marcel Iancu left Romania for Zürich, together with his brothers Iuliu and George, in order to study architecture. He was an associate of Tristan Tzara at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich during World War I. The nucleus formed at Cabaret Voltaire in 1916 (along with Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings and Hans Arp) founded

The editorial staff of Contimporanul magazine was housed on Imprimeriei Street, no. 53 (the building no longer exists today), and the administration was located on Trinit[\ii Street, where Marcel Iancu lived for a while (the current name of the street is Maximilian Popper). By 1941, when he left Romania, Iancu had pursued an effervescent artistic career, both in architecture and painting. Together with his brother Iuliu he built 40 modernist houses and blocks in Bucharest. His career as architect blossomed in the '30s, when he was already very popular in avantgarde arts media, as a painter, journalist and graphic artist. He finally settled in Israel, where he founded the artists’ colony of Ein Hod in 1953, devoting himself to painting. Janco Dada Museum in Ein Hod near Haifa holds an impressive collection of his works. Text by Doina Anghel Marcel Iancu – Hans Arp

Marcel Iancu – Mili\a P[tra§cu, oil on canvas, 1925-1930

Urban route
Marcel Iancu
The circle of Simbolul, 1912. From left to right: Samuel Rosenstock (Tristan Tzara), unknown, Marcel Iancu, Iuliu Iancu, Poldi Chapier, Eugen Iovanaki (Ion Vinea)

The beginnings of modern architecture in Bucharest 1929 - 1938