Architecture is the supreme art

Campina, Romania

Campina is halfway between a resort and a town. An ideal day trip, one hour by train from Bucharest. Although rich urban people built the usual redundant ugly residence with balconies and satellite dish, the old center retains most of the old constructions.    The town was very cosmopolitan at the beginning of the XXth century : Germans, Austrians, Italians, Jews lived here, some of them brought by the oil drills. People have kept their houses and their taste up to now. The courtyards are not paved, but covered in grass. Of course, that old Romanian passion – the hysterically barking dog – resurfaces here, too, behind the fences.  Some other people had the decency to leave their house as it was and play low on the garden.

 

A 15 min walk in Campina is like a reading concise history of early XXth century architecture. The streets are well kept (for Romanian standards) and not too busy.  Contemporary builders should learn from their modernist predecessors that a good house is not a big house, but one where you can find your way, where you can relate to its volume by being inside.

   Hardcore modernism was short-lived, even here. The late 30s and early 40s witnessed a vast array of byzantine, tuscan, florentine  and venetian reinterpretations.  After so much artificial beauty, finish your day with some good quality nature.   No, this is not England, it’s a small neighborhood above the Campina train station.

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