architecture gone wrong

go do it


This is the former building of the Securitate. The Securitate, Romanian for Security was the secret service of Communist Romania. After the fall of Communist Romania in 1989 the building was demolished by protesters but the lower remaining site survived. From 2003-2007 the building was redesigned and rebuilt and the ruin is preserved as a memorial to the Revolution. Today it houses the Union of Romanian Architects and McKinsey & Company.

OK if it is not bad why is it good? I hope it is not good because of some some philosophical blah blah talk about the new rising from the past nonsense. 

Apr 7, 16 5:41 pm

It's a literal ruin?


Or is it being used as a building (the masonry part)?

Apr 7, 16 6:00 pm

In my opinion, a missed opportunity.

Apr 7, 16 6:07 pm
Wood Guy

What would you do with this?

I like some elements of it. The coursing is consistent, and from other angles it's more clear that the ruin is nothing but a facade:

Apr 7, 16 7:44 pm
That's kinda bangin . Gone so wrong it's right.
Apr 7, 16 8:20 pm

Exactly Gruen. Whats not to love about this!

Apr 7, 16 9:36 pm

To me, it is fatalistic.

Apr 7, 16 10:25 pm

Having been to the building myself, my impression were that it created a certain kind of tension that was adequate for the site. There are plenty of buildings in Bucharest that need urgent attention, and some are already in the category of "ruin". If I were to chose between demolishing a ruin and rebuild something contemporary, or do something like the above - a building which looks like it's wearing the site's ghosts - i would go for the latter.

Apr 8, 16 2:10 pm

only thing that would make it better is painting the entire existing building matte black 

Apr 8, 16 2:13 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

chigurgh that would be a nice touch. its absurd in a good way.

Apr 8, 16 6:24 pm

didn't rem say something to the effect of, 'if you're going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.'

you can't restore it.  it's not like you're trying to preserve the memory of a romanticized past that never existed with fypon columns like some pseudo-disneyland that the "traditional" archinectors advocate.  in this case it was difficult and often painful past.  so you either tear it down and put up something that looks like everything else, or you keep it in place and do this.  while i'm not sure if the concept of two boxes intersecting the way they did is the right choice, the rest of it is a complete success.

if i were to suggest an improvement, it would be to have the glass box do a better job of addressing the plane of the facades.  the way they kept the horizontal elements is a nice touch.

Apr 8, 16 6:44 pm
Wood Guy

chigurh, the matte black idea is perfect. The building would go from being awkward, but with clear intent, to a beautiful memorial, complete with a symbol of rebirth.... Black masonry would also be better at visually supporting the mass of the new building.

Apr 8, 16 8:19 pm

I think it would be the rebirth of oppression.

Apr 8, 16 8:43 pm

I also think that is what it symbolizes now.

Apr 8, 16 8:48 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

matte black as requested

Apr 8, 16 8:55 pm

As i commented earlier:  Who had their head up their Ass!  This is not Architecture!

Apr 8, 16 10:59 pm
"It is not bad "does not mean "it is good".... It is an Okay renovation i have to say, at least okay enough to pursuade the gov to pay for it. Is it "fantastic "working out like this? No way..
Apr 9, 16 3:17 am

This is horrible ... We must restore the old building, it ...

Apr 9, 16 11:14 am
Wood Guy

Nice, Olaf. Wouldn't it look even better if the blue glass was white? That's just a question, not a request....

Apr 9, 16 11:51 am


Apr 9, 16 1:05 pm

Woah!  Matte black rocks!


Apr 9, 16 2:40 pm
Erik Evens (EKE)

"it's not like you're trying to preserve the memory of a romanticized past that never existed with fypon columns like some pseudo-disneyland that the "traditional" archinectors advocate."

Who advocates this, Curt?

BTW, I think this project is perverse and ironic, which is probably just what the designers intended. 

Apr 10, 16 8:40 am

whoever wants to eke.

Apr 10, 16 9:21 am
Erik Evens (EKE)

Who are the "traditional" archinectors who are dedicated to preserving the memory of a romanticized past, and use fypon columns like a pseudo Disneyland?  

Apr 10, 16 11:20 am
go do it

The matte black is a 1000% improvement now it is a good design. Good idea Chigurh and execution Olaf. It is funny how the color black can soften the contrast of materials. 

Chigurh this is for you

And Olaf this is yours after all you were just the CAD monkey

Apr 10, 16 1:07 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

Chigurh can have the accolades, I'll take the money ;) who do I invoice?

since I thought this experiment was funny enough to make it to my Portfolio ( and now Chigurh is getting the credit, just want make sure it's cool with Chigurh

it's nice out, going to go have a beer and blair some Zakk Wylde

Apr 10, 16 1:43 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

No Country for Old Men

(in case the presumed reference isn't ringing a bell)

Apr 10, 16 1:45 pm

I don't necessarily see what should be wrong with that building. It's quite common to build a contrasting new structure on top of older existing ones:


Or in Amsterdam:


Apr 11, 16 9:56 am

The criticism is not that a building was built on top of an existing building.

The criticism is with what was built.

Apr 11, 16 11:00 am
go do it

Just because it is common does not make it appealing. If done correctly incorporating new / old can be dramatic and thought provoking but if done badly as in the Romanian building in my opinion, but fixed by Chigurh and Olaf,  it can look like crap. I don't know maybe it has to do with the design of the old building also but the black looks better regardless. You want the civilians to say "hey cool" instead of "what the hell" 

Some good examples...maybe? Anyway what do I know I don't even like Jason Pollock!

Apr 11, 16 11:30 am

Lots of abominations wearing the dead carcasses of old buildings in this thread.

Apr 11, 16 11:51 am

Olaf - I'm cool with it.

quondam - stick to ms paint.  

Apr 11, 16 12:12 pm

i like your examples better get to it.  not sure what's going on in the back of the first picture.  i might like it less in real life.

if the point of the romanian design was to preserve the character of the original building skin (essentially as a decoration on the outside of the new building), then wouldn't painting it black defeat the purpose?  I think it looks better in black because it recedes and kind of hides in front of the new building.  If you're going to do that, why preserve it at all?  tear it down.  put a picture of the old building in the lobby of the new building and call it good.

Apr 11, 16 12:22 pm

sweet bro!

Apr 11, 16 1:32 pm
go do it

Hey Hey my name is   GO do it   ////////////////  get to it is is my punk ass brother!

Apr 11, 16 6:35 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

any relation to "get 'er done"? and Q - try that with the matte black facade

Apr 11, 16 7:05 pm


Still like the Romanian building more than the Hearst Tower, not that it matters. Have to also consider that, though they have a rapidly growing economy, Romania is still one of the EU's poorest countries, with more than 20% below the poverty line and an average salary of just over $500/month, 10 years ago it was even worse. Sure there are plenty of better buildings out there, but all things considering, I kind of appreciate the gesture, contrast and it's direct clumsiness, it's typical of where they came from and where they aspire to go to as a society, Reagonomics and trickle-down galore. You'll find tons of buildings in Eastern Europe erected in this millennium that look like they were transplanted from PoMo 80's Western Europe. It somehow also reminds me of Winka Dubbeldam's/Archi-Tectonics Greenwich Street project, so maybe that's why I have a more positive approach to it than most here.. 

Apr 12, 16 2:46 pm
go do it

get 'er done is my sister

Apr 13, 16 2:02 am
Olaf Design Ninja_ if i hit that button what will happen to Winka's buiding above?

Apr 13, 16 6:59 am
go do it

^It will turn into the new Club 54 that is limited to architects. They sit around and drink cognac and wine out of boxes while munching on those little damn sammiches. Every once in awhile one will get up to dance but nobody can find anybody else because they are all dressed in black and the lights are dim so he sits back down to continue his conversation about Rhino.

Apr 13, 16 4:08 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

oh man is that boring. was hoping the button would turn architects into Rhinos and have naked ladies on roller skates deliver me some fine Belgium beer (although i heard back in Club 54 days it was lines of coke the ladies delivered)......reminds me of that one time, the ladies I were with offered a young architect to come join them in the bathroom stalls at what used to be the Limelite (club in old church NYC) he declined and we discussed architecture! he ended up working Zaha I think.......ok lets try another button!

Apr 13, 16 6:14 pm


Apr 13, 16 7:04 pm
go do it

Press this and we can remake reality where contractors and architects are in charge a world where inspectors and plan checkers bring us strong coffee made by beautiful Turkish belly dancers while we sit in our bean chairs enjoying our comradery.

P.S. While building green stuff.  


Apr 13, 16 11:16 pm
go do it

Here's the button




Apr 13, 16 11:47 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

sounds like architecture gone wright!

Apr 14, 16 6:36 am

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