Simina Dron, architect & friend
The house in the garden of the Man family is a continuation of the collaboration started with Cristina and Silviu two years ago, when together we thought and built a small extension in glass and metal, "La Cochmèlie", brought to complement the necessary spaces of their old house over 100 years. Leaving the center of Bucharest to move to the countryside, in the village of Silviu's family, they deal, among many other things, with hosting guests interested in the rhythm of a rural life, initially using only the attic of the old house as accommodation, adding more recently a treehouse and now building this new home.
The guest house is an adaptation of a 2021 proposal made in collaboration with the young architects from SHAFT and it consists of a simple volume, configured on a perfectly square plan, with a Framing wood structure and closures of microfiber straw panels, raised over a general concrete slab, having in the center the chimney of prefabricated ceramic elements and around the perimeter a wide porch from which access to the various rooms is achieved.
The house is developed on two levels, ground floor and attic, which are connected by four wooden stairs. The entire floor plan is organized on a rigorous grid, which delimits four independent, duplex spaces, three with private rooms, intended for rest or work, and the fourth being common, with a place to cook and eat on the ground floor and a reading and relaxation room in the attic.
Cristina Man, client & friend & host
In the beginning, it was an old countryside house, exactly like the ones in my imagination of fervent visitor of specialised museums in the Capital city. There is no greater joy than dreaming of a 100‐hunderd‐year‐old house, with a porch, and getting it part and parcel with your life partner! Soon after, the old house became our home, and there was a desire and need to outsource and expand the tourist experiment started in the courtyard and house of our great‐grandparents.
This is how the dilemmas and questions to our specialists‐architects‐friends: is there a way to re‐build like they used to back in the day? Can we remake rural architecture with nowadays’ materials and workers? How can we keep and replicate the spirit of the old house in a new shell? How can we build without offending the surroundings, long settled in time and space?
The answer is a demure house, which, as our children, active participants throughout the project, say - is small on the outside but big on the inside, just like the old house. A demure house on the outside, but ingenious and nippy on the inside, due to the placement of vertical spaces. A house like a young well‐behaved sister, learning about constancy and about caring for materials and objects that are the least modern and hurried, even if not fully similar to those used for its older sibling.
To us, owners whom necessity has turned into finishing and interior design specialists, it is also a playground where from now on we will be placing and re‐placing colours and things - some old, from those collected in the years of wandering through flea markets, old attics or forgotten courtyards, others, new, mandatory for a modern person’s living.
Paul Hitter, painter & friend & guest
Veni, vidi, returned: I painted, I slept in the most perfect silence, I cooked, I hung out, I read, the children played, the animals, the river, the smell of hay, the country eggs, fantastic landscapes, I am already home!