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    Cultural Palace, Blaj

    Architect: Vlad Sebastian Rusu
    Text: Edit Pálinkás
    Photos: Cosmin Dragomir

    The Cultural Palace was designed in the year 1930 by the Bucharest architect Victor Smigelschi. 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 municipality 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.
    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.

    Architecture: Vlad Sebastian Rusu Architecture Office
    Architect: Vlad Sebastian Rusu
    General manager: Asiza Birou de Arhitectură
    Collaborators: Ilinca Marcu, Cătălin Iliescu, Teodor Vintilă, Raluca Mirea, Felicia Todericiu
    Archive research: Ioana Bârsan, Vlad Sebastian Rusu
    Economic documantation: Prima Invest, Florin Pop
    Structure: Asiza Birou de Arhitectură, Ovidiu Rusu
    Installation design: Grad Instal, Paul Biriş
    Stage technology design: Bosch Rexroth
    Builder: K&Kiss, Herbau
    Site supervisors: Nicuşor Pintea, Adrian Pastiu
    Client: City of Blaj