Ion D. Berindey will lead us today through the aristocratic Bucharest, the city of the Bohemian families and the great personalities who have made their mark on the development of the Romanian Capital. The transformation of our country is linked to his name, the activity of the famous architect is seen today in the story image of Bucharest, but also in the image of other big cities in the country.
Three representative buildings for Bucharest
We will begin our journey from where the violin of Master George Enescu has long been heard. The Cantacuzino Palace, the spectacular building on Victory Avenue, that today houses the „George Enescu” National Museum, bears the signature of the architect Berindei.
The construction was made between 1901-1903, at the request of the „Nabob”, as it was known at the time Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino. They wanted to build the most beautiful house in Bucharest and, as the building shows, the plans seem to have succeeded. The palace attracts attention by its special elegance, by the facade rich in stone decorations, by the spectacular entrance guarded by lions and by the interior in which the Belle-Epoque atmosphere dominates.
Following in the footsteps of Berindey we will head to the House of Scientists, which we find in Lahovary Square no. 9. This was, in fact, the home of industrialist George G. Assan. For him the architect designed this luxurious villa in 1904. We can say that Assan did not want that just the „Nabob” to boast about his home, so he also ordered one of his financial strength. The house, built in an eclectic style, is very reminiscent of the French school of architecture that Berindey loved so much.
Berindey’s name is linked to another symbolic building in Bucharest: Admiral Vasile Urseanu House, Lascăr Catargiu Boulevard no. 21, today the Astronomical Observatory and the Museum of Experimental Sciences. The unique construction was realized between 1908-1910, and by its form it remembers the passion that Vasile Urseanu had for astronomy.
The images are the ones that „talk” best about the work of architect Ion D. Berindey.
Who was Ion D. Berindey?
The architect Ion D. Berindey is the son of another personality from us, Dumitru Berindei, who between 1870-1871 was the minister of public works in the Ion Ghica Cabinet.
The young Ion started his specialization in Bucharest, where he attended for a short time the courses of the School of bridges and roads. In 1887 he left for Paris, where under the guidance of architect Duray he was preparing for admission to the National Higher School of Fine Arts, the Architecture Section. He has attended the courses of this institution since 1889. Among the teachers who trained him are Charles Girault, Honoré Daumet, Pierre Esquié. In 1897, the French government granted him the diploma of architect. In the same year he decides to return to the country to put into practice everything he has learned.
He occupies, in turn, several important functions, but most of the time he devotes himself to his great passion, that of designing constructions that we have inherited and which we find today in the national heritage.
Berindey worked not just in Bucharest. He also designed important buildings in other cities of the country. One of them is the Palace of Culture in Iasi.