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ArgumentNo. 1/2009

Functional Reconversion and Urban Regeneration. National Museum of Contemporary Art


One of the malfunctions of Bucharest is the rupture created by the emergence of People’s House (today The Palace of Parliament). The urban balance was seriously disturbed by the discontinuity generated by the appearance of such colossus in the traditional frame of the city and in its social structure. The building remained for a long time like a fortress in the heart of the capital city, which refused to participate at the life of the city.

The first important step taken to re-integrate this building in the urban structure was the functional reconversion of the west wing of the complex in the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum has gradually become a landmark for the inhabitants of Bucharest, conferring a new identity upon the place and marking the instruction of the Palace of Parliament in the cultural circuit of the capital’s population.

Functional reconversion also implied a complex approach to the project in terms of urban regeneration. The unachieved project of the open air museum aims to achieve a continuous visual flow between the interior museum and the exterior one and to recover and convert the land representing the “yard” at the rear of the building, by reinserting it in the cultural routes of the city.

The National Museum of Contemporary Art is a reconversion project which has been conceived as an integrating enterprise for the purpose of recovering urban spaces and areas which were degraded or abandoned, but which had genuine potential for transformation.


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