marți, 17 mai 2011

What one sees and what one can't

Mulţumită lui Sarah, acest articol a fost tradus în engleză. Puteţi găsi versiunea românească mai jos.
Thanks to Sarah, this article is translated into English.
Maybe it will be useful for some of you, dear visitors.
You'll find the Romanian version below.

One can see a) how crowded it is and b) the vastness of the complex

What is seen and what is not seen from images published by Alecsandri Estates who have claimed this land on streets Alecsandri and Povernei for construction? Remember, in order to make way for this office complex, savage demolitions took place only last week.

At first glance.

The 'wonders' one sees of the foreseen architecture due to replace the elegant Adrian house along with the solid building of the Resita headquarters are in fact nothing more than giant rectangles. Though claims say otherwise, there is no originality, no thrill of creativity. It is nothing more than common architecture, widely used over the last few decades - banal, dull forms, which are all the more dreadful since they clash so with the general ambiance of the neighbourhood.

The planned office complex takes up so much of the Alecsandri and Povernei land that it is cumbersome -the three buildings suffocate all the space available. And yet, no image appears on the right side, the four-storey block that is also expected to be built in place of the demolished monumental Rosetti-Solesti villa. This gigantic building will further choke the area and inevitably block the little square at the intersection of str Povernei, str Constantin Daniel and str Visarion.

What one can't see

What one cannot see is due to the simple fact that a drawing or a computerised image cannot create impressions that truly portray the reality. Cases in point:

1) One cannot see, for example, the relationship between the new complex and the buildings around it.

Str Alecsandri has a number of classified historical monuments (LMI 2010) at n°s 1-3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16, 18, 20.

Opposite the colossal new complex there are monuments at n°s. 3 (P), 5 (P+2) and 7 (P+2) as well as n°s 6 (P 1), 8 (P), 10 (P 2). These monuments have a maximum height of two floors. There is no cohesion between them and the new buildings facing them. To have a seven-storey building opposite them will crush the ensemble, reducing them to squashed little cottages.

The same situation awaits str Constantin Daniel and str Povernei, both lined with mostly elegant homes on the whole from the early twentieth century, both with and without historical monument status.

2) One is also unable to see the true width of the streets and thus, therefore, the traffic situation.

The streets fall short of 10m in width and pavements less than 3m. Car owners and those who work in the area park on both sides of the streets, leaving one strip free for circulation. Once again, with the construction of the blocks on Căderea Bastiliei at the bd. Iancu de Hunedoara end, the traffic on this street and the perpendicular str. Grigore Alexandrescu has become a nightmare.

A year or two ago, police imposed one-way traffic on this street for that very reason. The circulation and parking problems were not solved, but nothing else could be done to improve matters.

From the images presented by Alecsandri Estates, any details that could give allusion to the appalling congestion these office blocks will cause here have been skilfully obscured. The streets appear empty and the little square at the intersection seems so large that you could be forgiven for thinking you were at Pta Charles de Gaulle.

The circulation plans presented by Alecsandri Estates are pure fantasy. Entrances to underground garages will be the same as those of the new blocks on Căderea Bastiliei - crowded, narrow, dangerous, and thus barely used. The lives of residents in the neighbourhood will become sheer bedlam, with fierce battles for parking spaces and the unresolved problem of the exodus at rush hour.

Furthermore, this underground parking which should be for the whole complex and thus 450 cars, is actually for 358, which will leave drivers going round and round the neighbourhood looking for parking spaces which are... non-existent.

Taking into account the disfiguring of the neighbourhood through heavy traffic, discomfort to local residents as well as to employees and increased pollution, I wonder how we can open real estate 'developers' eyes as to the impossibility involved in the implementing of such construction in a city's historic centre.

There's enough room in the suburbs after all for wide-spread construction, with correct and easy access via new roads, adapted to the land and suitable for the needs of traffic.

We, citizens of Bucharest, should start another revolution.

Copyright Silvia Colfescu, 2011
Translation Roumanian to English by Sarah In Romania

Thanks, Sarah!

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