Despite the critical times it is going through, the Enescu House in Mihăileni proves its vitality through the strong links it creates and carries forward. The local community has come to our aid in various ways. These people have been part of the educational projects we have been running in the community for four years now, as well as the three editions of Concerts on the Siret river. The house-symbol has already been reclaimed in the local identity and they don’t want to lose it.
Following the biological attack that the wooden structure of the house suffered (infestation with the Merulius lacryman fungus) the work to save the house has returned and is progressing against the clock to avoid winter.
Survey researches to detect the presence of the fungus deep within the outer walls have been carried out with the constant assistance of biologist Ionela Melinte. The house structure was supported with metal posts to allow interventions on the walls. Undercuts were made where necessary. The external drains were completed and the systemization works were completed by creating a slope and stone platform in the northern area.
All infested wood was burned so as not to carry the pest to other places, and unattached wood material was treated preventively with Bochemit solution.
As a solution adapted to the place and the construction site, samples were made with a press for the bricks in the ground, the resulting bricks to be used for repairs.
An interview given by architect Șerban Sturdza, president of the Pro Patrimonio Foundation and architect Sergiu Popa, the local site coordinator, for Mr. Gabriel Basarabescu on Radio Romania Actualități’s After Walls show puts the spotlight on all this unceasing struggle and effort that gives meaning to our work.
We gratefully thank the local donors who have chosen to direct money to this general effort; the Local Council of the Municipality of Mihaileni, Botoșani county and Mr. Mayor Laurențiu Bărbăcariu as well as the two companies – without whose substantial financial help this would not have been possible – EGGER Group and Dedeman.
We need the money to buy time for the Enescu House!
Paris, September 14th, 2023
The second edition of “Cycle Patrimoine” took place from September 14 th to October 5th, 2023 at the Macadam Gallery, Romanian Cultural Institute. The event in Paris brought together a dense programme of exhibitions and conferences on civil society initiatives for the protection and enhancement of heritage in Romania.
The exhibition was curated by Carolyne d’Assay, President of Pro Patrimonio France. It proposes the theme of safeguarding and reusing a particular architectural typology: CONAC, the secondary residence in the countryside for wealthy families since the Middle Ages, but also the main residence of the great landowners.
The event honours these less famous private buildings and their current fate. It also identifies and lists conservation initiatives for these places of the same type as Pro Patrimonio, as well as the diversity of these manor’s current owners and their uses.
Pro Patrimonio Foundation and the Romanian Cultural Institute want to present each year a set of valuable practices, grouped around a specific theme.
Each year, Pro Patrimonio Foundation and the Romanian Cultural Institute wish to present a set of valuable practices, articulated around a specific theme.
The event was organized in partnership with the Romanian Embassy in France.
Download the booklet in French Manoirs en Roumanie. „Les Conac”, Vie et Destin
In June-September, with the agreement of the architect and the contractor, the project team participated as observers in several tests carried out to clean a facade of a similipierre brickwork. This involved dry blasting with different materials, wet blasting with water jet at various temperatures and pressures.
The observations made, combined with the literature research, show that in the case of dry blasting, low pressure and the least abrasive materials are recommended (in this case calcium carbonate was used). Pressure washing highlights microcracks in the surface of the plaster and raises questions about over-saturation of the plaster and masonry from the amount of water sprayed at very high pressure. Thick accumulated dirt is difficult to clean, either at very high pressure or by insisting a lot with the cleaning jet (wet or dry) leading to uneven surface erosion.
During the summer, the project team also started the analysis and interpretation of the first analysis results from collected plaster samples.Three different laboratories were contacted, one of them from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. The first observations are related to a wide variety of composition (binder-aggregate ratios). The types and quality of the cements used are aspects that require more detailed and in-depth understanding and investigation.
Thanks to our partners: Kerakoll, Remmers, Timis County Department for Culture
Thanks to Polarh architectural office and Erbașu firm for the access to the restoration site of the University Palace in Bucharest
“Forgotten Textures – Historical Plastering. Research and practical studies for repair and maintenance” Project in phase II carried out by Pro Patrimonio Foundation and supported by the Romanian Order of Architects from the Architecture Stamp Tax and PSC Group.
In the study on the repair and maintenance of historic plasterwork, observations and information from practical tests, ongoing construction sites and laboratory analyses were gathered. Given the great diversity of modernist plaster, the team decided to focus mainly on similarly painted plaster and, in particular, on how to clean and repair it.
The study uses basic principles in the conservation practice of historic buildings, whether listed or not. However, these buildings that form the basis for the observation are part of protected areas, where the appearance of the facades determines the character and value of the area. As a result, we list situations, encountered in this study, where basic principles used in the conservation of historic buildings have been used:
Interventions on historic plasterwork, whatever their nature (cleaning, completion, repair, consolidation, etc.) should use the principle of minimal intervention, only where strictly necessary and as far as possible reversible. Interventions should not affect the original material in the long term, so as not to hinder possible future conservation processes that may be carried out with other more modern methods that may emerge in the years to come;
Halfway through the project period, we present some of the project team’s observations and recommendations:
But what we have observed and discussed with material suppliers is that today’s materials are not identical to those used in the early 20th century, due to differences in production (e.g. cement) and even in the raw materials from which they are made. It is therefore important to find the optimal compatibility, based on physico-chemical behaviour.
The study will not provide standard solutions because each case is unique, but the principles and recommendations for approach can provide support for interventions that better protect valuable textures and even help to lower intervention costs. We are working on a set of recommendations for intervention steps for the rehabilitation of historic modernist façades, as well as recommendations for technical specifications (about material and intervention methods) for projects and specifications.
“Forgotten Textures – Historical Plasterwork. Research and practical studies for repair and maintenance” is a project carried out by Pro Patrimonio Foundation. supported by the Order of Architects of Romania from the Architecture Stamp and PSC Group.
Summer evening at Concerts on the Siret river, August 22 marked the end of the master course held by pianist Raluca Știrbăț at the Miclescu Manor in Călinești, Botoșani county.
The protagonists of the concert were the seven young pianists participating in the masterclass, students of the national music colleges of Botoșani, Suceava, Iași, Bacău, Piatra-Neamț and Bucharest, multiple winners of national competitions and not only: Ruxandra Blându, Theodora Epuran, Bianca Hăvîrneanu, Maria-Cristina Hrițcu, Alexandra Marițencu, Irina Petrescu and George Țăranu.
The unconventional and reconverted former agricultural space in Călinești generously hosted the Bösendorfer piano and a very large audience. In this unique and charming setting, more than 170 participants enjoyed an event of the finest artistic quality, with a difficult, complex and varied piano repertoire, from Mozart, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt to Silvestri and Rautavaara.
At the same time, an exhibition of panels presented the stages of work that the Enescu House in Mihăileni, the pivotal element of the Concerts on the Siret, has gone through, now undergoing extensive repairs after a xylophagous and biological attack on the wooden structure. The setting of the Călinești farm complemented the ambience of the concert with a small exhibition selling local produce.
We thank Egger for their support, Bucecea and Mihăileni Town Halls, Project Botoșani, Botoșani Order of Architects, Ideograf, Cella Cosimex, Maria Association, Sturdza family and all those who made this event possible, as well as the tireless ambassador of Enescu’s music, pianist Raluca Știrbăț.
In August the project team continued practical tests in both Bucharest and Timișoara. Part of the experiments focused on repairs to an existing plaster of similar type, which, according to laboratory results, would be based on Parker cement – a type of cement that appeared in the early 19th century, obtained by burning at up to 950°-1000°C. The tests took place in Timișoara at the István Nemes Palace, designed by arch. Lipót Baumhorn in 1902. With the support of Prof. Dr. Johannes Weber from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, the project team received two types of Parker cement for experimentation, one made in Poland, the other in Spain, used for the restoration of modernist buildings.
A second direction of research has been the cleaning of symphyte surfaces of dirt deposited over time or organic deposits (mosses and lichens grown over time). Mechanical cleaning (from knife or brush removal to dry or wet blasting) and chemical cleaning (by testing Remmers products) were observed.
Research is currently focused on understanding and analysing laboratory results in the context of practical observations and formulating initial conclusions and recommendations for the conservation of facade textures.
Thanks to our partners: Kerakoll, Remmers, Timis County Directorate for Culture
“Forgotten textures – historical plasterwork. Research and practical studies for repair and maintenance” Project in phase II carried out by Pro Patrimonio Foundation and supported by the Romanian Order of Architects from the Architecture Stamp Tax and PSC Group
This year, Concerts on the Siret is dedicated to supporting work on the George Enescu House in Mihăileni.
For donations – Casa George Enescu din Mihăileni, Botoșani – DONATE
A xylophagous and biological attack on the wooden structure of the Enescu House in Mihăileni has forced the interruption of educational and concert activities. An emergency intervention site had to be opened here and cultural activities temporarily moved to other cultural sites of significance to the neighbouring communities
Pro Patrimonio Foundation and Associația Maria have the honour to invite you to the 3rd edition of Concerts on the Siret River to enjoy good music in unique settings.
We propose four particularly interesting locations:
You will have the opportunity to see for yourself or in the explanatory drawings on display that an exciting activity to enhance the tangible and intangible heritage of local communities is taking place on both sides of the Siret, this generous river that enriches the cultural landscape of Moldova.
George Enescu’s house in Mihăileni, Botoșani county, a historical monument owned by the Pro Patrimonio Foundation, was saved from collapse and went through a seven-year restoration process. As small as it is interesting, it represents a tangible witness of the way of life for an intellectual family of the 19th century. That is precisely why Enescu House can become a subject of experimental research with a specific purpose: what was the standard comfort of life in the countryside for families with intellectual potential and a desire for development?
It is the place where the composer spent periods of his childhood and adulthood, finalizing many of his masterpieces. It was the last place he visited before leaving the country for good in September 1946. The house belonged to George Enescu’s mother, Maria Cosmovici, and was built by her parents, most likely, in the middle of the 19th century. Currently, the house is returned to the local community in the form of a cultural and educational center. In 2020, the restoration works were completed, a moment also marked by the inauguration of one of the most ambitious projects of the Pro Patrimonio Foundation, the “Academy of Music and the Study of Sound”.
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Tot în cadrul proiectului Circular Catalysts, pe 21 mai 2023 am organizat un program de “Ateliere de Explorări şi Imprimări Botanice” chiar în spaţiul alăturat expoziţiei Romanian Design Week de la Bucureşti, din Piaţa Amzei. Acestea au fost o continuare directă a experimentelor derulate în cadrul rezidenței de creație de la Vila Golescu, jud. Argeș.
40 de curioşi – copii mici, adolescenţi, sau tineri – au venit însufleţiţi de dorinţa de explorare și imprimare cu plante alături de designerii, făuritorii și prietenii proiectului de design și meșteșug, Honest Goods. Aceştia ţi-au antrenat mușchii cu tehnica de imprimare cu ciocanul pe suporturi textile și de hârtie şi au testat metoda block-printing cu plăcuțe de linoleum, culori textile și modele ingenios create chiar de participanți. Amuzamentul lor a fost contaminant. Toată lumea s-a bucurat să înveţe plante de sezon pictându-le.
“Atelierele de Explorări şi Imprimări Botanice” şi expoziţia Pro Patrimonio sunt rezultate ale rezidenței Circular Catalysts la Câmpulung Muscel, la care artista britanică Anoushka Cole a fost prezentă. Expoziţia şi atelierele sunt integrate într-o expoziție documentară bazată pe cunoștințele și temele generate, care prezintă fotografii, texte și obiecte reprezentative pentru puterea designului interdisciplinar și a dialogului. Expoziția face parte din cadrul Romanian Design Week 2023 (12-28 mai) și va fi itinerată în Timișoara (Capitala Culturală Europeană și în Marea Britanie (în parteneriat cu Institutul Cultural Român din Londra).
Alte evenimente din cadrul proiectului:
Curatorial text for the Pro Patrimonio exhibition within the Circular Catalysts programme, initiated by the British Council Romania and supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute, Romanian Design Week, 12-28 May 2023
Modeled after the first series of the Honest Goods design and craft collection in 2016, which was conceived as part of the Pro Patrimonio architecture brand, the current HG#3 collection of objects is rooted in the Circular Catalysts creative residency facilitated by the British Council Romania. It was hosted and inspired by the city of Câmpulung Muscel, Argeș county, its natural surroundings, but especially the exceptional architectural and landscape ensemble – Golescu Villa and Dendrological Park, 1910.
The HG#3 series from 2023 is the result of a structured design process, inspired by the local people and craftsmen, which was undertaken and realized with the help of the artist Anoushka Cole from the UK, the local guide and artist Elena Diță and two designers from Bucharest, Andreea Machidon and Ruxandra Sacaliș.
They explored the hills and gardens of the sub-mountainous area of the Iezer-Păpușa Mountains, harvesting and creatively transforming the fruits of the earth in its first period of rebirth. Shapes, colours and stories of place were subtly inserted as decorative patterns, working techniques and types of objects created. The support of the whole creative experiment was a family of textile elements made of natural materials dedicated to the ritual of dining and dressing. The newly created prototype objects continue the research and probing of the archives, memory and roles attributed by society during Maria Cantili Golescu’s life (1881-1962), the lady of the architectural-landscape ensemble in Câmpulung Muscel.
Here is a huge cotton tablecloth, decorated with plants and textiles printed by hammering, with linocut designs and tassels made of wool boiled in natural pigments, worked on collaboratively by adults (craftsmen, designers, other professions) and especially 25 children from the community of Câmpulung, in a workshop dedicated to cultural heritage education.
Next up is a contemporary fashionable shawl, modelled by the hands of a local craftswoman and inspired by the interests, archive and lifestyle led by Maria Cantili Golescu at Villa Golescu at the turn of the last century.
At the end, you can enjoy a collection of natural materials (wool) associated with delicate textiles (silk, linen, hemp, cotton), the support of all the experiments in the creative residency: a collection of small tablecloths and linen towels, an extension of the series of kitchen objects inspired by the way Maria Cantili Golescu lived in her domestic space.
The creative process began with an immersion in the specifics of the place. The team walked the hills of Lerești and the floors of the dendrological park pertaining to the Golescu Villa, collecting the seasonal plants and flowers that nature could offer in spring in a high area. It took a walk through the town of Câmpulung and opened the doors of museums, places of worship and historic houses. It gathered stories from the locals and visually memorized working techniques, materials and valuable elements specific to the area from the lady weaver, Marieia Plopeanu, and from one of the last wool artisans in the country, Emilian Catrinescu.
All of the above were watched, documented and recorded by Mirela Duculescu, design historian, together with her friends and long-time colleagues, designers Andreea Machidon and Ruxandra Sacaliș.
Bucharest: 12-28 May 2023 | Piața Amzei 13 – Romanian Design Week Creative Corner | Daily 10.00-20.00
12/05 Launch of RDW Talks Podcast with Annemarie O’Sullivan (Studio AMOS) and Cristiana Tăutu (Head of Arts, British Council Romania)
18/05 10.00-18.00 | Quiet Day – Accessible Guided Tours (Superheroes Among Us)
18.00-21.00 | Inclusion through ceramics workshop (AMAIS and Studio mud.)
19/05 Launch of RDW Talks Podcast with Anoushka Cole
21/05 Intergenerational workshops on textile printing with plants by Pro Patrimonio
22/05 Launch of RDW Talks Podcast with Lola Lely
26/05 Author Presentation – Francesca Sarti (Arabeschi di Latte)
Details about the entire Circular Catalysts programme facilitated by the British Council Romania here
Other events in the project:
The adventure of materials and colours from nature starts with British designer Anoushka Cole. One can reach Câmpulung through the filter of wonderful local craftsmen.
For this project we chose to visit one of the most appreciated weaving craftswomen in the country, Mrs Mariea Plopeanu. We were greeted not only with a museum of items woven by Mrs Plopeanu and her mother, but also with carefully researched, traded, rescued and selected items from all over the Muscel basin, up to 200 years old. Local patterns and materials, gold and silver threads and various stories accompany each woven piece, along with a sincere love for this craft and, ultimately, lifestyle.
We were welcomed especially warmly and with surprising stories by one of the last wool artisans in the country. At Emilian Catrinescu, wool is washed, carded and spun into yarns dedicated to industry or various individual orders. Highly sought-after services, he can’t keep up with demand.
How could we better capture the local specificity of a city like Câmpulungul if not by a stroll around the city?
From the newly restored Negru Voda Monastery to the Town Hall we enjoyed an impressive architectural landscape and told the past, present and future scenarios for this town. We were greeted by abundant information at the Museum of Ethnography and sat the rest of the day around the Golescu Villa preparing for the experiments and workshops of the days to come.
Joining us for our debates, preparations and explorations was Mr. Andrew Glass from the British Council, whom we told all about our plans for this intense week.
We set out to be inspired by the local tangible and intangible cultural heritage, while using the surrounding nature as the main element in obtaining natural pigments, making blockprinting patterns and printing flower leaves and petals directly onto materials.
That’s why we dedicated most of the day to a foraging expedition in the hills of Lerești with our guide and local specialist Selena (Corina-Elena Diță). A connoisseur of edible plants, mushrooms and the stories that accompany the hills at the foot of the Păpușa Iezer mountains, Selena helped us to fill our “forage bags” with a great many seasonal plants, such as: crocus, violas, scarlet elf cup, strobilurus mushroom, wild strawberries, Easter flower, busculite, moss, dog’s tooth violet, hairy wood-rush, coltfoot, star of Bethlehem, cherry bark, dried ferns, cones or walnuts.
The rest of the day was eminently busy around the pots, since we chose to boil wool, flax, silk and cotton in a solution of nettle, spruce cone, fern, red onion, maple and cherry bark.
Magic day in the kitchen
We aimed to have a whole day dedicated to various plant and plant-inspired painting techniques.
Boiling natural materials in various herbal solutions – this was already started the day before and completed on ready-made textiles. Linen tableware was given the colour of spruce cone and nettle, and the silk shawl was taken to the light earthy colour of dried fern.
The hammer technique –it marked the final linen materials, in musical rhythms and with some force, with traces of: rose hips, greater celandine, dwarf periwinkle and forsythia picked directly from the dendrological park of the Golescu Villa. One of the experiments I even kept with the pressed, unpicked flowers and leaves as part of the creative process.
The roll-wrapping technique – used for the linen and silk all with plants from the home garden left to steep and soak for a long time: greater celandine, dwarf periwinkle, blackberry flowers and forsythia.
Block printing – inspired by the colours and shapes of nature we accessed the linocut technique to create repeating patterns on linen tablecloths and kitchen towels. Leaves, mushrooms and geese(!) remained printed on the textiles as traces of the places we explored.
Around 30 children and adults joined the Pro Patrimonio team on Saturday to close the project with a final community experiment.
With the plants and inspiration provided by the Golescu Villa garden, the children brought to life a giant 5m long tablecloth. They hammered, sewed, made wool cottons, attached plant materials and then decorated the whole thing at the end with their own stamp made in linoleum.
Music, snacks and merriment accompanied the whole; we ended the adventure with some outdoor soup and a wood fire animation.
The residency in Câmpulung Muscel is part of the Circular Catalysts project carried out by the British Council Romania, in partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute. This is a programme designed to generate new collaborations between designers, artists and craftspeople from Romania and the UK and to facilitate fertile conversations around sustainable production practices and processes.
Other events in the project:
RECIPES, OBJECTS AND EXPERIMENTS. A project inspired by Maria Cantili Golescu’s Culinary Diary from 1900.