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ArgumentNo. 2/2010

Heritage values in contemporary architecture


In the land of Maramures there are 8 wooden churches in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Unfortunately, the villages that form the frame of these wonderful churches have entered in a restructuring process. The conquests of “civilization” have carved deep wounds that are irreversible with the departure of the young generation to work abroad and their return with the borrowed models of buildings as well as the funds to reproduce them. In order to conserve spatial arrangement of Maramures villages a large number of traditional wooden buildings must be saved “in situ” and adapted to modern living requirements. A traditional wooden house from Săpânța was dismantled and rebuilt in Nistru village. Its last owner wanted to give it up because it was too small for his needs. The house, which initially had two rooms and a surface of 73,30 sqm, became a dwelling of 254,00 sqm responding to the needs of a modern family.

The wooden house was erected over a semi-basement, while the high new roof was designed to shelter supplementary living space. Another addition to the old house was the open turret for outdoor dining.

The semi-basement accommodates and hides the new functions of the relocated house: kitchen with inside dining area, pantry, bathroom and storage-spaces. The turret was recently built by the craftsman Hotico Găvrilă, in the style of the old house and sheltering the entrance to the kitchen. On the ground-floor new interventions are strictly functional such to keep the image of the old house unaltered.