Igloo Magazine 202 – Victoriei 139 | Bucharest 2021

Prezentare Calea Victoriei 139

The building located at the intersection of Calea Victoriei and Calea Grivitei was given a new lease on life with its restoration completed in 2020, initiated by Hagag Development Europe. Despite its privileged position, the building had been abandoned for several years, but it is now reintegrated into the urban fabric as part of an area regeneration process. Today, the building houses office spaces and commercial areas on the ground floor, retaining its original purpose.

The property we see today is the result of multiple interventions over time. In 1944, G.M. Cantacuzino, in collaboration with Octav Doicescu, designed plans for a 10-story residential building, a project that was partially realized. In the period 1945-46, they designed a multi-storey office building located on the property of the Stirbey family. After nationalization in 1949, the project was taken over by architect Ion Giurgea, who in 1953 extended the building towards the Stirbey Palace, added extra floors, and reinterpreted the volume in a socialist realist manner. The last extension involved adding a ground floor plus 5 floors structure, positioned on Calea Grivitei. Over time, the building has housed the Coal Design Institute IPROC, the IPROMIN headquarters, and the OMV-Petrom headquarters.

At the beginning of the consolidation process in 2017, the building hid a labyrinth of offices, cabinets, and meeting rooms, all frozen in the 80s-90s. The intervention involved opening up the interior spaces, thus obtaining the flexibility specific to a contemporary office. One of the biggest challenges for the design team was integrating installation systems into the floor plans, originally configured as living spaces. Thanks to modern consolidation solutions, H Victoriei 109 provides a contemporary workspace and interaction space that meets current quality standards.

While the building underwent several interior transformations, the intervention on the facades was discreet. Restoration used materials dedicated to historical facades and simulated stone for restoring damaged ornaments. The texture of the base was reproduced manually through bush hammering and chiseling techniques. The joinery is also made of laminated wood. The two existing staircases were preserved, with the balanced staircase standing out for its elegant lines. To preserve this, a metal staircase was positioned on the rear facade.

The facades received a pastel color scheme, achieved through warm tones inspired by the original color palette. The arrangement of the two lobbies, on Calea Victoriei and Calea Grivitei, complements the facade: simple lines and neutral, sober colors blend with golden accents and reflections. The terraces on the 6th and 7th floors, open to the public, offer spectacular views of the city.

Interventions on historic buildings are complex, especially when they are located in protected areas or declared monuments, but the satisfaction of restoring a part of the city’s history fully rewards the efforts.