The Saint Mariy’s Institute, established in 1852, was the first Catholic school for girls in Bucharest run by an order of German nuns.
The diploma project aims at the recovery and reintegration of the Saint Mary's Institute in the public circuit of the city of Bucharest. The institute represents a space full of history that is currently in an advanced stage of decay. Located in the city center, in an area with great development potential, the architectural ensemble has an atypical typology for the area in which it is located. The building stands out in the fabric of the city, being characterized by a series of public and private courtyards, interconnected by means of transitional spaces.
The prestigious school of Catholic nuns was closed with the establishment of the communist regime. Currently, the Faculty of Foreign Languages and the Archives of the Ministry of Health operate in the place of the old institute. Following a lawsuit with the Romanian State, the part of the Archives of the Ministry of Health was reclaimed from the Saint Mary's Institute. Thus, the project aims to find a way for the current Saint Mary's Institute to share the site with the Faculty of Foreign Languages. Considering the German origin of the mothers and the fact that they were speakers of foreign languages, I considered the creation of a foreign language center and a library, an opportunity to support the coexistence of the two institutions.
From an architectural point of view, the project integrates into the site taking over a particularity of the ensemble: permeability. The site consists of a series of 5 interconnected courtyards that allow access to the heart of the plot. Thus, the proposal is placed on the site connecting to the existing building through a portico that delimits the main courtyard to the chapel.
Another premise of the project was the attempt to respond to the current needs of the city by integrating the existing architectural object. The status of the area has changed drastically in recent years, with Arthur Verona Street becoming a street open to public events. For this reason, we opted for connecting the main courtyard with the street, and opening it to the public, becoming a new urban space within the city.