Bucharest, Romania


credits: Alexandru Muntean | Adriana Caraza |

David Stancu  

special thanks: Catalin Caraza | Simina Stan |

Lavinia Popica

While a city with many landmark buildings eclectically displaying the 19th and early 20th century architecture, part of which hosting today cultural establishments, Bucharest misses a strong museum identity and MNIR offers the opportunity to start creating one. There`s no doubt the palace hosting the museum stands alone for its history and beauty, but we feel it also lost its connection with both the exterior and interior. Our intervention aims to open up the historical building and its functionality as a museum to the city and the people that visit and interact with it through minimally invasive architectural interventions that restore and highlight the palace`s original clarity but also bring a subtle contemporary design approach to its spaces.

Initially a much more clear and coherent building, with well-defined wide-open spaces, as seen from historical documents, through time the palace has suffered a lot of interventions that clattered its spaces and functionality.  We want to restore the original spatial quality that the edifice had and gently insert a series of contemporary interventions that carefully blend in modern spatial perspectives with historical heritage. One of the first interventions was to clean up the whole inner courtyard space and cover it up with a ETFE membrane supported by a lightweight steel structure that gives way to a large clear atrium space. Redesigning this space by carefully taking into consideration the natural slope of the terrain and making a few essential cuts that highlight the main piece - Trajan`s Column – and connect it with both the atrium as well as the related exhibition that surrounds it and seamlessly develop itself down to the first basement.

Main entrance from Calea Victoriei

Main axonometric view

Section #2

Main entrance from Calea Victoriei