Venezuela St. Apartments Bucharest – COMPLETED 2008

Apartment buildings & collective housing

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Bucharest, Romania, 2006 – 2007

This apartment building is located close to Piata Victoriei, in one of the most exclusive areas of Bucharest. Located diagonally across from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the building is set in an area rich in architectural monuments that belong to the diverse stages of the city’s development. These monuments of different architectural styles give the neighborhood its special status.

The building sits on an irregular lot shaped by the intersection of Venezuela and Aleea Alexandru streets. Developing the maximum allowable envelope as per zoning restrictions, the building extrudes the site perimeter into ground and three floors within the imposed setbacks. The penthouse sets back following a different geometry and is covered by a thin roof that emphatically cantilevers, stretching out to meet the site perimeter. The ground floor retreats at the lobby creating an access sequence that follows the continuity between interior and exterior. The building two and three bedroom apartments are set as two and a half apartments per floor – two simplex and half a duplex.

The tension between the rigidity of the site-extruded building and the freedom of its interior distribution is what defines the project. This freedom comes as much from the free configuration of the apartments that vary from floor-to-floor as it does from the randomness of the openings in the façades. These façade openings are primarily window and loggia openings. The windows of varying sizes create a composition that simultaneously contradicts and affirms the building’s massiveness.

This design strategy abandons the hierarchy of the façades and enforces the perception of homogeneous continuity of the building. In the context of the surrounding built environment, in which dominant design features distinguish the various types of architectural styles, this building becomes a background that does not reveal any hierarchy or traditional principles of composition.