During the socialist years in Romania (1945–1989), when significant territorial transformations occurred due to the forced industrialisation-urbanisation processes, industrial architecture represented a true ‘leitmotiv’ of planning practice. Starting from the post-war reconstruction phase, industrial development became a top priority of the socialist State, leading to high investments in the field with particular attention to the main manufacturing branches of the heavy industries such as mining, steel production and fuel energy. The socialist system in Romania, just like in its counterparts from the Eastern Bloc, was based on the planned economy, and on the nationalisation and centralisation principles of the ‘soviet model’, already experienced in the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s. Thus, the entire national economy was aimed at providing support to the steel industry, while society was reconfigured towards the needs of the workforce and resources. Architects practising during those years, as Ion Mircea Enescu (1920–2010) did in the State design institutes involved in the industrial planning and designing at the national level, argued that industrial architecture represented one of the most “radical modernist transformations” among the other architectural themes, as well as being “a promising field for architects” in a context of state control of the profession. Ion Mircea Enescu practised as an architect throughout the entire socialist period, from the moment of his graduation from the School of Architecture in Bucharest in 1946 to the system’s fall in 1989, and his works involved major industrial sites and buildings around the country. Starting from these premises, the paper investigates a particular category of the industrial architecture built during the 1945–1989 period, that of the “integrated steel plant” illustrated at the national level through the case study of Hunedoara, Resita and Galati steelworks. Moreover, the paper intends to investigate the manner in which the experiment of Hunedoara Steelworks, already existing and functioning before the 1948 nationalisation process, and considered the first planning and architectural intervention in the post-1945 years, had a wider territorial impact in defining the Romanian “steel socialist legacy”. By illustrating examples of socialist heavy industries developed and, further, modernised during 1945–1989 years, the paper aims at identifying, analysing, and illustrating various forms of tangible manifestation of this specifically built typology from an architectural perspective. While the recent years' scholarly interest starts to be directed towards the recent past contributing to the increasing knowledge and acknowledgement of the Romanian architectural scene, they occur at a slower pace than the transformations of the respective inherited of the built environment. In overall terms, however, the industrial building patrimony probably represents one of the most threatened and vulnerable built typologies undergoing abandonment due to economic obsolescence, and therefore, at risk of further destruction under the pretext of recycling for scrap, land reclamation or real estate speculation. Thus, through the chosen case studies—Hunedoara, Resita, and Galati will bring forward awareness on the issue of the balance between acceptance and rejection of the industrial testimonies still existing in the present post-socialist and post-industrial Romania. The main purpose is in defining an approach methodology of this built legacy followed by an open debate in a matter of its patrimonial value acknowledgement and enhancement in the current Romanian setting.

“The Big (Ugly) Steel Giant” Între acceptarea și recunoașterea moștenirii industriale siderurgice a trecutului recent. Reșiţa, Hunedoara și Galaţi (Ro) / „The Big (Ugly) Steel Giant” Towards the acceptance and acknowledgement of the steel industrial legacy dating the recent past: Reșiţa, Hunedoara and Galaţi (En)

O. C. Tiganea
2022

Abstract

During the socialist years in Romania (1945–1989), when significant territorial transformations occurred due to the forced industrialisation-urbanisation processes, industrial architecture represented a true ‘leitmotiv’ of planning practice. Starting from the post-war reconstruction phase, industrial development became a top priority of the socialist State, leading to high investments in the field with particular attention to the main manufacturing branches of the heavy industries such as mining, steel production and fuel energy. The socialist system in Romania, just like in its counterparts from the Eastern Bloc, was based on the planned economy, and on the nationalisation and centralisation principles of the ‘soviet model’, already experienced in the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s. Thus, the entire national economy was aimed at providing support to the steel industry, while society was reconfigured towards the needs of the workforce and resources. Architects practising during those years, as Ion Mircea Enescu (1920–2010) did in the State design institutes involved in the industrial planning and designing at the national level, argued that industrial architecture represented one of the most “radical modernist transformations” among the other architectural themes, as well as being “a promising field for architects” in a context of state control of the profession. Ion Mircea Enescu practised as an architect throughout the entire socialist period, from the moment of his graduation from the School of Architecture in Bucharest in 1946 to the system’s fall in 1989, and his works involved major industrial sites and buildings around the country. Starting from these premises, the paper investigates a particular category of the industrial architecture built during the 1945–1989 period, that of the “integrated steel plant” illustrated at the national level through the case study of Hunedoara, Resita and Galati steelworks. Moreover, the paper intends to investigate the manner in which the experiment of Hunedoara Steelworks, already existing and functioning before the 1948 nationalisation process, and considered the first planning and architectural intervention in the post-1945 years, had a wider territorial impact in defining the Romanian “steel socialist legacy”. By illustrating examples of socialist heavy industries developed and, further, modernised during 1945–1989 years, the paper aims at identifying, analysing, and illustrating various forms of tangible manifestation of this specifically built typology from an architectural perspective. While the recent years' scholarly interest starts to be directed towards the recent past contributing to the increasing knowledge and acknowledgement of the Romanian architectural scene, they occur at a slower pace than the transformations of the respective inherited of the built environment. In overall terms, however, the industrial building patrimony probably represents one of the most threatened and vulnerable built typologies undergoing abandonment due to economic obsolescence, and therefore, at risk of further destruction under the pretext of recycling for scrap, land reclamation or real estate speculation. Thus, through the chosen case studies—Hunedoara, Resita, and Galati will bring forward awareness on the issue of the balance between acceptance and rejection of the industrial testimonies still existing in the present post-socialist and post-industrial Romania. The main purpose is in defining an approach methodology of this built legacy followed by an open debate in a matter of its patrimonial value acknowledgement and enhancement in the current Romanian setting.
steel industry, industrial architecture, industrial legacy, heritage, recent past, communism in Romania
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1205773
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