Mihai Rotaru



“Assigning the Soviet modernist principles of architecture and urban planning, Romania explores on large scale the concept of housing blocks starting from 1950’s. Once forced industrialization started, there was a big demand for new homes, especially in the cities. The concept of apartment blocks was the widest spread solution since it was designed to host as much people as possible. Destroying the existing buildings or sneaking among them, the blocks reshaped the urban context of some areas and became new landmarks. Criticized for their bleak and repetitive appearance, these buildings added uniformity and desolation for cities and for the people’s lifes.
Nowadays, many of these blocks are in an ongoing process of restoration. Some of them are restored by the city hall, others are made by the owners. The facades are covered with styrofoam and strong coloured plasters. The choice of the colors and their playful placement might be an attempt to give more life to a desolate and monotonous architecture. But inside, the apartments are the same as they were designed. Even if the owners refurbished their interiors, the low standard confort imposed by the Communist Regime is still present in every flat.

Inspired by unfolded facades from architectural representations, I am creating large images with these blocks focusing on their graphic compositions seen from the eye-level of the city.”