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Reabilitarea și refuncționalizarea Palatului Cultural din Blaj

Refurbishment and Refunctionalizing of the Cultural Palace in Blaj



Proiect înscris de

Vlad Sebastian Rusu
arhitect
Vlad Sebastian Rusu Birou Individual de Arhitectura
vlad.rusu@arch.utcluj.ro
0747289311

Informaţii despre proiect

Cultură
http://www.vladrusu.ro/?portfolio=restaurare-palat-cultural-restauration-of-cultural-palace-blaj-ro-2012
2012
2013
2016
1765 mp.
2.000.000 euro
Blaj Piata 1848, nr. 7, Blaj, jud. Alba

Echipa de proiect

Vlad Sebastian Rusu Birou Individual de Arhitectura
sc K&Kiss srl Cristuru Secuiesc și sc. Herbau srl. Miercurea Ciuc
Primaria municipiului Blaj
arh. Vlad Sebastian Rusu

- Ilinca Marcu - arhitect
- Cătălin Iliescu - student arhitect
- Teodor Vintilă - student arhitect
- Raluca Mirea - student arhitect
- Felicia Todericiu - student arhitect
- Ovidiu Rusu - inginer structuri
- Paul Biriș - inginer instalații
- Florin Pop - economist
- Bosch Rexroth - tehnologie de scenă
- Nicușor Pintea - diriginte de șantier
- Adrian Pastiu - diriginte de șantier
- Istvan Szasz - inginer-șef de șantier
- Cosmin Dragomir - arhitect-fotografii

Stadiu incipient

The Cultural Palace is situated in the 1848 Square, in the historic center of the city, located in the Historical Monuments National Protected Area. The building was to be used primarily for cultural events initiated by the ASTRA Cultural Association that had at the time the main headquarters in Sibiu and Blaj. On September 19, 1936 the building of the Cultural Palace was inaugurated on the occasion of the ASTRA’s 75 years jubilee in Blaj. At the inauguration of the Cultural Palace attended the Prime Minister and members of the Romanian Government of that period and King Carol II himself and Prince Michael. Since the beginning, the building had cultural functions. It functioned as the Auditorium of the city, and after 1969 as Cinema City. Also in 1969 there were brought the first interior changes in order to meet the functions as a cinema. Since 1963, in the upstairs rooms there had been the Museum of History and Ethnography of Blaj then during the next six years, the Town Library and, for a while, the Wire-broadcasting Center - Blaj broadcasting. All these functions have made minor changes to the interior building division. From the viewpoint of the owners who owned the property, originally this Palace built from public and private funds has been owned by the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic. On March 3, 1949 after the abolition of the Greek Catholic Church by the communist regime, the building became the property of the Romanian State, namely in the administration of the Ministry of Arts and Information. After the revolution of 1989, in 1992 the Romanian government gave back the Cultural Palace to the Greek Catholic Metropolitan Church United with Rome. Unfortunately, in the winter of 1995 a large fire destroyed much of the building, only the outside walls and some of the rooms on the first floor remaining unaffected by fire. The Cultural Palace building remained in this state from 1995 to 2011 when the Blaj Municipality, after exactly 75 years from its inauguration, bought the building from the Greek Catholic Metropolitan Church United with Rome. The Cultural Palace, with a height made of basement, ground floor and first floor is located in the southern front of the 1848 Square. In the 20s of last century the historic square of the town had as dominant front the Eastern front with the Greek Catholic Cathedral and the Greek Catholic schools, buildings with basement and one floor located in continuous front side. Opposed to these buildings there is the archdiocesan Library that was built in the interwar period, representing the center of gravity of the western front. The other houses in the square were all built with ground floor, facing the street, forming a continuous front side by the gates built up to the eaves. For building the Cultural Palace in the southwestern corner of the square, two plots were merged, each with a house proposed for demolition to make room for the new cultural institution. Viewed from the square area, the volume of the new insertion clearly dominates the southern front and by increasing the height, that front supports the neighboring ones. Nevertheless, the urban role of the building in question proves to be important especially in that the western side relates through a firsthand look to the Bagdi György’s Renaissance Castle that sheltered at that time the Greek Catholic Metropolitan Church headquarters. The building occupies a corner plot, with accesses by two perpendicular sides; the occupation of the land is atypical, compact, being dictated by function. The building is remarkable for its urban insertion of a very large volume in an already existing context, consisting only of buildings with ground floor. The Cultural Palace in Blaj is not classified as a historic monument, but it is included in the protection area of Historical Monuments of National Importance – the St. Trinity Greek Catholic Cathedral and Bagdi György Renaissance Palace. In the National Archives, we have found fragments of the original design drawn up by the architect Victor Smigelschi and the site mailings from which we could extract some historical and technical information relating to the achievement of the building during the interwar years. Unfortunately, there could not be identified pictures of the interior of the main hall, but only photos of the exterior of the building after the inauguration.

Scopul proiectului

The Cultural Palace, located in the historic centre of Blaj, was designed in the year 1930 by the Bucharest architect Victor Smigelschi, and its primary purpose was to host ASTRA Cultural Association’s events. The first changes to the original design were to building’s main hall and these were made in the early 1960’s in order for it to accommodate a new function as the city’s cinema. Also from the same period the first floor of the building underwent some minor functional changes to accommodate the History and Ethnography Museum of Blaj and the Town’s Library and Blaj’s Wire Broadcasting Centre. In the winter of 1995 a violent fire burnt down most of the building, severely damaging the roof and the interior space of the main hall. It remained a ruin until 2012, when the city administration of Blaj initiated a project for the rehabilitation and refunctionalisation of the Palace. The building would be predesignated to incorporate a flexible multipurpose hall, which could be lit both artificially and by daylight, and which could host a wide variety of cultural events such as concerts, galas, theatre plays, conferences, exhibitions etc. The building would also serve as the headquarters for the Alba branch of the Romanian Academy. The rehabilitation and the opening of the Cultural Palace in Blaj revived not only a heritage building, but also the only cultural facility in the town of Blaj. Thus, the community has regained one of the important public facilities in the town, existing in the collective memory as the main place of meeting and socializing. The entire rehabilitation process aimed at the revival of this function and at its adaptation to current requirements for such cultural facilities that best respond to the community. From this point of view, it had to be found a balance between emphasizing the original authenticity of the building and its adapting to current conditions. On top of all these there was the trauma intervened during the fire, then the long-time abandonment, which remained deeply preserved in the consciousness of the community. Therefore, the process of rehabilitation has proposed a respectful attitude towards the intrinsic character of the building, but also an evocation of recent history. However, through the success of this project, we hope to encourage local administrations in a small Transylvanian towns to give more attention to rich architectural heritage existing in this region. The entire demarche of Blaj administration can become a good precedent for the recovery of other valuable buildings, with greater sensitivity and interest for local communities gain.

Descrierea proiectului

Research - The Cultural Palace of Blaj was excluded from the list of the Romania’s Historical Monuments, even though it is located in the Historical Monuments National Protected Area. Sections of the initial architectural project attributed to Victor Smigelschi were found in the National Archive, as well as two pictures in which the building can be seen shortly after its inauguration. Regrettably, no records were found relating to the original interior design of the main hall. Design concept - With the benefit of historical research and with technical expertise it was decided that the spatial and functional design concept of the building, which was now a ruin, would follow the initial project. That decision meant that the alterations that were made in order to accommodate the later institutions had to be removed. The new design follows two directions: firstly, to evoke the recent tragic history of the building and secondly, to create a flexible interior and exterior space that can easily be adapted to the needs of the community that it serves. The main hall becomes a multi-purpose space by removing all the seating and through the addition of more daylight through the new roof lights. Other small reversible changes such as, the metal structure of the roof, the brick cladding and the suspended ceiling reminds the visitor of the recent fire. Short description of the executed work - The Cultural Palace was built after specific techniques of that time, with exterior and interior walls of brick masonry with mortar and reinforced concrete floors. The roof frameworks were made of beech wood and coverings of metal sheets. On the facade, there were some elements of decoration made of gypsum. Interior and exterior woodwork was beautifully made of oak with various decorations. After the fire in the winter of 1995, the building was very affected. Only the exterior walls and internal divisions were untouched by fire. During the 17 years of abandonment, the Palace became a ruin. In the absence of the roof in the Auditorium, destroyed by fire, an abundant vegetation rose in the building. Interior spaces at all levels were badly affected by seepage of rainwaters. The structure of masonry and the ceilings made of concrete beams showed much degradation, especially in the balcony of the auditorium. In 2011, the Municipality of Blaj rehabilitated in a hurry, without historical research, the external facades and exterior woodwork and made rubble clearance works inside the building. Inside, however, there were no rehabilitation works. Following technical evaluation achieved in 2013, they found severe deterioration of all structural elements, walls, floors, beams, stairs and roof frameworks. They called for immediate intervention measures, because the building represented a danger to pedestrians. By those measures, they have wanted the building to be restored to current standards in what concerns the strength and stability, according to Romanian legislation. Inside there were seen irreparable damage to the floors, interior finishes and interior carpentry. Only the exterior doors were kept which were in an acceptable condition at the beginning of the project. Also all indoor and outdoor facilities were no longer functioning or were mostly missing. The main completed works comprises the following: ● Structural consolidation of the building and reconstruction of roof trusses and tiles; ● Refurbishment of the interior and exterior surface finishes including joinery, and the renovation of the main entrance doors; ● Installation of new electrical, heating, sanitary and ventilation systems; ● Installation of a dynamic system for skylight operation; ● Introduction of system to enable flexible stage management; ● Landscaping and refurbishment of the courtyard. Bugetary constrains, funding arrangements and costs - The promoter of this project was the local administration of the Blaj town. The funds required for the project came from public funds. The budget was quite a restrictive one, 2 million Euros. Most of this budget was consumed by the costs of structural reinforcements. This determined the choice of technical and finishing solutions that did not entail high costs. Therefore, it resulted the preservation of apparent brick walls, ceilings cladding with Cor-ten steel sheets or making the doors or of Cor-ten steel. Project qualities in Romanian context - By rehabilitating the ruin of the Cultural Palace, it has been regained a public building heritage for the small community of Blaj. Thus, there was saved from extinction the only cultural facilty in the town, which in the collective memory represented the meeting and socialization point of the entire community over time. Its rehabilitation is also a celebration of interwar architecture sensitive to the existing urban context and to the needs of the public of that time, that through simple and reversible interventions can meet nowadays functional requirements. Finally, the project aimed, besides a rehabilitation of the initial architecture, at evoking the recent, traumatic history of the building so present in Blaj community’s memory.

Evaluare

The rehabilitation and the opening of the Cultural Palace in Blaj revived not only a heritage building, but also the only cultural facility in the town of Blaj. Thus, the community has regained one of the important public facilities in the town, existing in the collective memory as the main place of meeting and socializing. The entire rehabilitation process aimed at the revival of this function and at its adaptation to current requirements for such cultural facilities that best respond to the community. From this point of view, it had to be found a balance between emphasizing the original authenticity of the building and its adapting to current conditions. On top of all these there was the trauma intervened during the fire, then the long-time abandonment, which remained deeply preserved in the consciousness of the community. Therefore, the process of rehabilitation has proposed a respectful attitude towards the intrinsic character of the building, but also an evocation of recent history. However, through the success of this project, we hope to encourage local administrations in a small Transylvanian towns to give more attention to rich architectural heritage existing in this region. The entire demarche of Blaj administration can become a good precedent for the recovery of other valuable buildings, with greater sensitivity and interest for local communities gain. Results achieved - The project was completed. The building is in use and has already received the public of the town during an open-door event. The new image of the Cultural Palace was well received by the community, enjoying people’s appreciation on the resumption of cultural activities in the town after a long break. Provisions for future use and maintenance - The Cultural Palace is a public building which will host the cultural events of the city. The building is equipped to host concerts, plays, film projections, exhibitions, community meetings and many other events that concern the people of Blaj or of its county, Alba. It is estimated that it will host a number of 10.000 visitors among its first year, and that this number will rise once the Palace regains its fame. Response to urban or landscape context - Through the process of rehabilitation and refunctionalisation building has not changed its original urban settings. Thus were preserved entirely its intrinsic qualities. The building is remarkable for its urban insertion of a very large volume in an already existing context, consisting only of buildings with ground floor.

Panouri de prezentare

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