A surprising building in Bucharest: Paucescu’s House, a mix of old and new

As many cities in Europe, Bucharest too is a city where old buildings blend with new ones, where houses from 14th century sit next to 19th century buildings. Sometimes though, different periods of  history and architecture are mixed together in the same building and the result… well, you’ll have to judge for yourself after you’ll find out the story of Paucescu’s house, a building in the middle of Bucharest that dates back to mid 19th century, but that also has bullet marks from the 1989 events in Romania.

So this house was built by Grigore Paucescu, a Romanian politician that was even a minister, around the middle of the 19th century in the French Renaissance style, a very popular style at that time in Bucharest (and not only).

In 1914 to build the Royal Foundation, a place dedicated to the university elite. Since then, the house served as the headquarter of the Austro-Hungarian Embassy (before World War I). During the communist period, the house was used by communist Security’s 5th Directorate.

During the December 1989 Revolution, the house was burned but, more importantly, it was completely destroyed on the inside (terrorists were suspected of hiding inside it). You can see some bullet marks on its walls:

click on each photo in this post for a larger view!

Paucescu’s House, Bucharest, bullet marks
Paucescu’s House, Bucharest, bullet marks
Paucescu’s House, Bucharest, Romania, bullet marks
Paucescu’s House, Bucharest, Romania, bullet marks

 

As it was a headquarter of the Security, there were no available plans of the house, in order to enable architects to rebuild it.

What was left of the house was declared a national monument, so the house couldn’t have been demolished. However, since there were no original plans, some came with the idea of building a glass structure inside. So nowadays, Paucescu’s house is the headquarter of the Union of Romanian Architects in Bucharest and it looks like this:

Paucescu’s House, Bucharest, Romania
Paucescu’s House, Bucharest, Romania

As you can see, you have two options: to find this edifice disturbing, or cool. There’s nothing in between. Like it or hate it.

I have to admit that I dislike this building – I did ever since I saw it being built in the present form. As there were photos available with it on the exterior, I think that consolidating its structure and trying to create an interior structure compatible with the exterior design should have been a better idea. But then again, it couldn’t have been this tall!

I’m curious though: do you like this building or dislike its design?

Lori

I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

56 thoughts on “A surprising building in Bucharest: Paucescu’s House, a mix of old and new

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