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Photo: Cosmin Dragomir

Urban Living in Bucharest

The image of the Stefan-cel-Mare district, located in the north of Bucharest, is richly diverse: it forms a collage of single-family dwellings from various eras, along with large apartment houses, old and new buildings, narrow and broad streets and large and small building elements. The new complex was inspired by existing structures and can be understood as a link between them. Two buildings on a long, narrow plot of land join the surrounding neighbourhood by docking onto the existing structures. Along with the residential purpose, other uses have been integrated here: there are a shop and offices on the ground floor. Moreover, a communal space in the basement and a shared terrace are popular meeting places.    The façade reacts to its heterogeneous environment with an interplay of jutting and receding surfaces, small and large apertures and smooth and textured areas. Deep loggias with parapets of steel mesh alternate with generous glazing. The yard-side façades are more closed in; some of the loggias have been replaced with balconies. The apartments’ floor plans can be adapted to the various needs of different users. They vary from storey to storey and can be extended either vertically or horizontally. During the planning process, about 50 different apartment types were created. These range from studios to 4-room maisonettes covering three storeys. Every apartment has been designed with private exterior space in the form of a balcony, a garden or a terrace. The interiors have been done in wood surfaces and light-coloured exposed concrete. The visible wiring for the ceiling lamps recalls the look out on the street. Every main door has a small adjacent blackboard that residents may decorate as they wish.

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