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ArgumentNo. 3/2011

Private interventions of up-grading.


The history of functionalist years overlaps until identification , in the Romanian case, with the communist regime - altough it has started previous of the Second World War. The great housing residences confronted the cities mayors uniforming wills with the customization and differentiation wills of the inhabitants. The model caused not only economic mutations but also social and familiar ones. The individual initiatives of raising the housing comfort were gestures that have been classified before 1989 as wrong because they interrupted or marked with particular signs a unitary whole.

Once it had been possible - since 1989 – this fact has become a phenomenon, still ongoing, characterizing private initiatives of change from the assemblies of blocks by successive up-grade interventions , all oriented, one after another, towards the increasing individual comfort of the apartments, the enviromentation and refunctionalization of spaces surrounding buildings, access paths, flat entrances but also the investing of the street with multiple functions, sometimes with symbolic value.

The subjects of such practices were and still are in a natural process of adaptation and appropriation, of asserting their own individuality, of territorialisation - as gestures of regaining confidence and the assuming of the daily routine, not always consistent with their expectations .

We can deduce from these facts that the value of the architecture practiced on such a scale would consist of the freedom that we, the architects, leave at the disposal of the users for personalizing – with the assuming of the gesture - different spaces, perfecting them over time.