ArgumentNo. 1/2009

Tradition and reference in the Neo Romanian style

Abstract

This analysis is trying to define the concept of tradition and its temporal positioning. In the Romanian architecture, the tradition has two sides: one refers to the “un-named tradition”, that tradition which doesn’t require an explanation or any type of articulation, a tradition independent of any analysis of its parts and actions. The tradition becomes visible only when it gets named. It is the moment when the “un-named tradition” stopped being part of the normal everyday life. It had to be reinvestigated and explained. All these took place in the field of the polite architecture. At first view, the two meaningful moments are the Brâncovenesc synthesis and the Neo Romanian style. There is a major difference. The Brâncovenesc architecture raised on the work of a few native skilled masons. On top of a local structure, they put together a series of elements inspired either by the Western Baroque or the Byzantin forms. This native structure was a traditional one, no question about it, but it had to do with that free moving, “un-named tradition”. On the other hand, the Neo Romanian architects had a Beaux-Arts education so they had to put together a traditional Romanian architecture by using an educated filter. They had to select and explained the chosen formal elements. Their connection with the “un-named tradition” had been lost. This situation was the opposite of the Brâncovenesc synthesis. The architectural tradition became just the result of the selection and interpretation of an educated mind.

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