The restauration, extension and functional remodeling of Gabroveni Inn
Functions: cultural center; Location: Bucharest, RomaniaClient: The Ministry of Culture, The Cultural Project Center of the Bucharest Town Hall and the UN Development Programme in Romania; Consultants for restoring historical monuments: Irina Criveanu, Aurel Botez; Plot area: 1,532sqm; Built area: 4,871sqm; Height: U/2U+GF+3F;Year: 2009
Object of the contest: the restoration, extension and transformation of the Gabroveni Inn into a cultural centre with mixed functions, which will also accommodate the headquarters of the Cultural Project Center of the Bucharest Town Hall (ArCuB) and the Cultural Memory Institute (cIMeC)
The project wishes to restore (not reconstruct) the Inn’s building and to emphasize the precious elements that have survived over the centuries (arched roofs, walls and arcades) as well as the building’s complex development revealed by the thoroughly documented historical study. Thus, we proposed an unplastered facade towards the Lipscani Street. Although it’s not specific to the area, the facing brickwork has a double significance: firstly, it shows through different textures, colors and works the different construction stages and, secondly, it carries a civic message – a call to responsibility for a society that let this monument decay almost to collapse.
On the east side of the interior court we designed a neutral intervention, but with enough force to create the specific atmosphere of a XIXth century commercial passage.
The new building is a contemporary reinterpretation of two local spatial typologies: the interior court and the alleyway, which become the composition axes of the new intervention. The volume and the facades are inspired by the previous buildings on the lot (demolished nowadays), but are adjusted to fit in the actual context and to emphasize the Inn’s architecture.