Forgotten E L E M E N T S. About the architecture of Nicolae Porumbescu

This project focuses on the centenary of architect Nicolae Porumbescu and it assumes a journalistic approach. The entire work of the architect is brought back into the present through modern photography, in an attempt to generate new and different discussions about a complex, powerful, praised, but also controversed lifework. The context, the corporality, the light, the people, time, the urban scale and that of obsessive detail, become elements of a photographic installation, that assumes both a documentary, and a sentimental nature.

Nicolae Porumbescu, October 19th,1919

The architectural destiny of architect Nicolae Porumbescu – Gipsy is closely related to the aesthetics of the traditional art, his style being a critical regionalism that arose from the specifics of the “place”. An admirer of Brunelleschi, Palladio, but also of Le Corbusier, Gipsy draws his essence from the traditional Romanian architecture. Since his student years, he has worked in studios of well-known architects (being the closest to Gh. Simotta) and he formed professionally in a classical spirit, but with modernist aspirations. In 1965 he leaves for Suceava and discoveres the outstanding archaic treasure from Bucovina and Maramureș. He has a revelation about his architectural destiny which will remain in close connection with the aesthetics of traditional art. In 1970 he became the head of the architecture department at the Construction Faculty from Iași, supported by his wife Maria Porumbescu. Gipsy took part in multiple architecture competitions in which he expressed his faith – “The right for architecture”. He designed and built heavily and through his works, he left a mark in the central areas of numerous cities. At Satu Mare he defined his work – the central ensemble – which, by his opinion, should have become a place of veneration. In the last years of his life, he retired to Suceava – the realm of his fulfillment.

Laurian Ghinițoiu is an architect who he graduated from the Faculty of Iași and also from a master’s program at DIA (Dessau International Architecture), and whose attention is directed towards architecture photography. Well-known architecture studios (OMA, REX, ZHA, BIG, Steven Holl, MAD, SO_IL, Ishigamy, Fujimoto, Asif Khan) chose to present their work through his images. His photography were on the final lists in international architecture photography competitions, such as Arcaid Awards and as well, they were published in important magazines and books from around the world, namely Architectural Record, Phaidon, Mark, Domus, A+U. His approach involves searching for decisive visual states in the built environment, in which the designed elements and the informal ones, objectively and emphatically coexist. Through the images he captures, Laurian Ghinițoiu takes the viewer in a journey around the world, built in the social or immediate context of the present. He spent his childhood in Satu Mare and studied at Iași, therefore his choice of documenting the centenary of Porumbescu was rather natural.

Laurian Ghinițoiu uses photography as a tool to document the built environment. He graduated as an architect from Iași, Romania in 2010 and in 2014 he obtained a master’s degree at DIA, Dessau International Architecture. What began for Laurian as a curiosity, photography became a lifestyle and an ongoing journey around the world through hard work and passion. This point of view helped him to understand the complexity of architecture at a global scale. The spontaneous encounters mark the start of a new series of photography projects which later will be materialized into publications and exhibitions. He obtained good results in international photography competitions in the last years. Recently, he won the Architectural Photography Award 2019. His photographies are published by the main magazines in the field, Phaidon, Domus, Taschen, El croquis, Wallpaper, Zeppelin and have been selected as covers for influential magazines such as Architectural Record, A+U. Amongst his collaborations, we can acknowledge David Chipperfield, OMA, BIG, Heatherwick Studio, SO_IL and also emerging studios such as Karamukkuo, SUO, Miolk.