INTBAU - International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism
Report by Carmen Tanase


After three previous workshops in Laslea, Transylvania between 2003 and 2005, INTBAU Romania organized its fourth workshop in Bran commune from 31 July-7 August 2005. The event was attended by Romanian, British and Norwegian architects as well as academics and students from those countries, and supported by Dan Dimancescu, the Honorary Consul of Romania in Boston, USA. In parallel, the workshop was attended by a group of students from the University of Architecture in Timisoara at the initiative of the Dean of University in Timisoara, Radu Bancila in collaboration with the Mayor of Bran, Mr. Gheorghe Hermeneanu. The local authorities played an active role and expressed great interest in the work undertaken by the international team of practitioners.

The purpose of the workshop was: first to establish a Landscape Protection Plan for the Simon Area and second to make Preliminary Studies for the Future Master Plan of Bran Commune. The protection plan was restricted to one particular area later to be used by the local authorities in producing and enforcing a wider protection program for the whole commune of Bran, which attracts thousands of tourists every year. The team analyzed how Bran centre might be able to grow in the future in order to turn itself and its surrounding area into a pleasant holiday attraction in which people come to stay and relax and not only pass by just to see the castle. In the last years, Bran commune has experienced extensive uncontrolled development that seems to be chaotic because of the lack of urban development rules and of any regard to the specific qualities of the regional architecture of Bran. The main challenge is to create a sustainable development plan for the Bran commune, allowing the full and healthy development while preserving the Architectural and Natural Heritage.

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