THE HOUSE OF THE PEOPLE
THE END, IN MARBLE
Andrei Pandele
Compania, Bucharest, 2009
ISBN 978-973-7841-76-6







“My big mouth dates back to my youth. The head-engineer at the Institute of Architecture, however, resented being argued with. So he punished me by dispatching me for one year to the House of the People project. Everybody knew that meant hard work.”

“A monument is a message across time. What might the People’s House communicate? Its main attraction is definitely not aesthetic. Might it be regarded as the embodiment of the relationship between a ‘primitive despot’ and thousands of all-too-obedient citizens?”



Once upon a time there was (and still is) a frightful edifice. Imposing, even, depending on who looks at it, on what we understand and know of man-made shapes, on how we interpret history in general, and our own place in it.

From 1987 to 1988, the architect Andrei Pandele was “sentenced” to one year’s labour on Casa Poporului (The House of the People) and has since been unable to evade this monument, either in his memories or daily life in Bucharest. Moreover, in recent years, he has also been quizzing fellow-architects about the House, and its future in the city it has blighted for so long. For the last twenty years, this professional and passionate photographer has lost no opportunity to focus his lens on the House and the old city streets that were destroyed to accomodate it.

Thanks to Andrei Pandele’s photographs and his dual calling, the story of this building becomes as compelling and as dramatic, as it is true.






CONTENTS

Andrei Pandele
On the Horrific Immortal Monument
The Witness in the Tower
Information from Archit. Ștefan Burcea
Talking to Workmate Adrian Șotropa
An Endless Phanar
Fresh Impressions from ’89
Contest, Victims, Pathos
Questionnaire for Renowned Architects








ANDREI PANDELE

ARCHITECT, graduate of Ion Mincu Architecture College, Bucharest, Romania. Member UAR (Union of Architects in Romania), OAR (Association of Romanian Architects); registered in the TNA (National Register of Architects) and RUR (Register of Romanian Urbanists).

Has worked since 1968 in various architecture institutes, companies and offices. As Deputy Chief Architect of Bucharest (1998-2001), contributed to the General Metropolitan Plan of the city and to all major projects within its scope.

Author and co-author of a variety of architecture projects (industrial annex constructions, villas, hotels), including remodeling/recovery of historic buildings. Attended postgraduate professional training in large European projects, taught at Ion Mincu Architecture and Urbanism College Bucharest.

Publications in specialised periodicals.

PHOTOGRAPHER, member of the Photographic Artists Association since 1973, founding member of the Sport Press Association (1990). Agent in Western Europe: Agence Collectif Est, Paris, http://estost.com

Photographie work published in: Photo, Sovetskoe Foto, Fotografie, Lettres de Paris, Midi Olympique, Rugby World & Post, La Mordorée, Adevărul, Cotidianul, Evenimentul Zilei, Arhitectura, Sportul, Fotografia, National Geographic and other journals.

Books: Vom muri și vom fi liberi (We’ll Be Dead and Free), Meridiane Publishers, Bucharest, May 1990; catalogue for his Fotografii interzise și imagini personale (Forbidden Photographs and Private Images) exhibition, Compania Publishing House, Bucharest, December 2007; the album Martorul-surpriză. Fotografii necenzurate din comunism (Surprise Witness. Uncensored photos from the Communist years), Compania Publishing House, Bucharest, 2008.

College lecturer in photography.

Since 1981 has staged numerous solo exhibitions at home and abroad. His work has featured in thematic exhibitions and been shown in professional festivals (most recently at Visa pour l'image, Perpignan, France, September 2009; Noorderlicht, Leeuwarden-Groningen, The Netherlands, September 2008).

CONTACT: Str. Dumbrava Roșie nr. 17, 020 462 Bucharest 2, Romania
la.pandele@gmail.com
http://www.fotomagazin.ro/weblogap






Brâncovenesc Hospital during demolition-work seen from the South. May 1984



Horse and cart in front of Unirea Mall, in a sea of mud. December 1987



Panorama of the House, a composite of eleven telephoto-lens shots taken from the Electrolux Headquarters in 1987. The building appeared beyond the extension of the Telephone Tower, rising high above the ten-storey blocks of flats.