Dwelling together. 6 apartment buildings by DNA BA

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This walk through Bucharest takes us to visit six places full of life, design and poetry. We discuss smart solutions, space, light, materials, interior design and details, hidden gardens or floating above the city, about homes and about places to socialize with your neighbours.

The buildings designed by ADN BA office on the streets Dogarilor, Măicănești, Petru Rareș, Mora, Aaron Florian and Occidentului are metropolitan insertions, places that seem familiar; they innovate and carry along the culture of dwelling; they celebrate personal expression, and provide a place for community building. These awarded projects or completely novel works are described in depth, not just from the architectural point of view. This is a book about people, who tell us about their homes and the way they live there.

Technical data

Dimensions: 220 x 282mm


216 pages + cover + jacket

Price: 40 lei, 9% VAT included

ISBN 978-606-638-108-6


Authors: Ştefan Ghenciulescu (texts and interviews, except p. 12-15, 214), Andrei Şerbescu Adrian Untaru, Bogdan Brădăţeanu (coauthors)

Book edited by Zeppelin and University Publishing House “Ion Mincu”

Editors: Ştefan Ghenciulescu, Constantin Goagea, Cosmina Goagea

Photos: Cosmin Dragomir, Andrei Margulescu, Oltin Dogaru, Ştefan Tuchilă

Graphic Design: Radu Manelici (Faber Studio)

DTP: Aurelian Ardeleanu

Translation: Cristina Petrescu

Romanian proofreading: Lorina Chitan

Plans and diagrams: Ada Barbu, Carmen Petrea, Alexandra Petrisor

Printed at Master Print Super Offset

Bucharest 2014

locuind impreuna -lansare

Enjoying the city together 

Text: Andrei Şerbescu, Adrian Untaru, Bogdan Brădăţeanu

We probably belong to a generation for which departure meant a lot. Many of our relatives or friends have already lived in two or three countries and several cities. They changed places, houses, languages, jobs, they were mobile and brave. We often envied them. Our own range of movement was much smaller, our space was narrower, because visiting has nothing to do with living. The one who is passing through is always different from the one who stays, who remains, who settles.

But settling is not easy. Not just because you have to do it (almost) alone, but also because it involves a recognition that lasts and is not always fruitful. We realized at one point that, just as leaving transforms you more than arriving, there is meaning in not leaving, too. Being “from around here”, being “a local” is not so trivial. And although we often look over the fence, we are still living and working in the city where we grew up, which began to matter increasingly. Therefore, this city, with its good and bad things, has for us sometimes an unconditional charm, it’s a rendezvous with an intimacy that we can not really deny.

In this town full of scars and patches, boulevards and narrow streets, blocks and houses and trees and crannies, we enjoy the sparrows in springtime and sometimes even the dripping gutters. In summertime we are happy in the evenings, watering the flowers with the garden hose, and peeking through the holes in the fences, looking inside the narrow yards with patches of sun and shade. In autumn we rejoice at the smell of the grapes in the vines and of the dead leaves, swept aside and burned at the curb. And yes, we are happy that winter here smells different than in Vienna and that the windows still get foggy.

What do all these have to do with collective living, in a block, nonetheless? Well, they do, because collective living not only means living “with someone else”, but also with a place, in a neighborhood with a story and its marks, its poetry or its brutality, old or new. A place means all the others before us or after us. The street, the neighborhood, the city and their screeches as they grow out of their small clothes are the background of our daily thoughts, hopes and doubts. And of the others’, too. Moreover, every situation we encounter can only be a special one. Delicate connections that are woven between people and places, from homes to yards, between inside and outside, between then and now, are what interests us mostly. Usually, to not spoil what we find is the hardest.

We know that the city is changing and that it needs to change. We, in turn, want it to change and we are interested in how this happens. We don’t confuse memories with nostalgia, nor evolution with changing for the sake of change, nor progress with saturation. But we value time and savor it. And we often think that although there are many kinds of “good architecture”, there is only one way to remember – your own way. Certainly there is some danger here, because the limit is very fragile, but maybe we will be protected from it. We wouldn’t want to get lost some day on the streets where we grew up.

So, these are six intertwined stories about six blocks and six places, which aim, in addition to the above said, to cultivate good settlement and establishment of new communities, and consent to diversification as the essence of life. Six stories about six blocks with residents’ association, building manager, garden, staircase, stairs going up and down, mail-man, neighborhood, vertical and horizontal, landing, balcony, moving in, furnishing, installations, otherness, density, agglomeration, hot water, central heating, comfort, home, re-rooting. Even floods and leaks.