Porosity and Collisions. 

About Bucharest and its Limits

by

Ștefan Ghenciulescu

Keywords

  • Bucharest
  • porosity
  • co-presence
  • superposition
  • phenomenal transparency
  • urban development
  • South-Eastern Europe
  • public space

This paper looks at margins as physical as well as social interfaces. While starting from urban and architectural morphology, it tries to link urban space and social practice from a diachronic perspective. The object of the research is Bucharest and the ways in which territorial and architectural limits define its historical development and its current character. My aim is to show that, from the large scale of the city to the one of the urban fabric, Bucharest has been shaped by soft limits, collisions, superposition of unfinished projects, resulting in a particular form of virtual transparency. By contrast, a recent and brutal history and today’s anarchic overall development result in disarticulation, closed places and non-public space. Individual projects and bottom-up initiatives soften hard limits, reinvent transparency and common ground and point to a possible alternative development.