Jukebox City

Date & Location

2007, Barcelona

An exhibition of Romanian contemporary architecture, presented in an overwhelming city, that manages to become much more than a mere get-together of mythical works of architecture. From the very beginning, the whole team agreed not to display just a selection of individual works or offices in Barcelona; and this not only because Bucharest is barely known abroad, and quite often identified with the architectural monstruosity created by Ceausescu. We thought that this city, showing huge problems but also an enormous capacity to regenerate and to redefine itself, is worth becoming the central element of the discourse. Apparently, Bucharest is an arbitrary collage of various pieces, a place of architectural collisions and identities. At a closer look though, it is an incredible workshop of modernity. Practically, there is no instance in the last two hundred years that is not present there. Bucharest combines an initially Balkanic background, an original interpretation of the metropolitan patterns in the 19th century, the most extensive European heritage of modern interwar architecture, the biggest totalitarian operation taking place in Europe, and, finally, a franzied and fragmented development from the years following the collapse of communist dictatorship. The evolutions of this transition are likely to express, through the purity of their manifestation, tendencies beyond the Romanian context.

The title “Jukebox City” takes over the metaphor of a jukebox – hits of various decades, apparently assembled randomly, yet carrying themes and genres that discreetly structure the general collection.

We gave up a conventional historical presentation of the city, attempting instead rather to place contemporary evolutions in a social and historical context. Five sections decompose the current architectural and urban reality:
1. Layers – the city as a result of radical projects overlapping;
2. Going out – recovering public space;
3. The socialist city today – adaptation, individualization, contemporary insertions;
4. Restored memories – the new architecture and its relation with the city before the war and
the modern tradition;
5. City boundaries – chaotic development and space for experiments.

The display takes place in the met.room architecture gallery, a vaulted underground of an old building in the historical centre of Barcelona. The exhibition was designed as a system of objects and devices freely displayed in the spaces corresponding to each section. The visitor is urged not only to get information passively, but to search for and interact with the city and its works of architecture.

Exhibition organized by:  The Union of Architects in Romania, Arhitectura magazine, SCALAE ed, Fundación Met.room, The Order of Romanian Architects

Project financed by the Ministery of Culture and and Religious Affairs in Romania.

Authors: Constantin Goagea, Cosmina Goagea, Ştefan Ghenciulescu, Justin Baroncea, Carmen Popescu, Félix Arranz, Mihaela Kavdanska, Dilmana Iordanova
Texts authors: Justin Baroncea, Ştefan Ghenciulescu, Constantin Goagea, Carmen Popescu, Vlad Tăuşance, Félix Arranz
Graphic design and video installations: Mihaela Kavdanska, Dilmana Iordanova, Alex Balint / Idea Highway
Exhibition design: Mihaela Kavdanska, Dilmana Iordanova, Alex Balint, Jean Craiu
Electronics: Cristian Jipa, Cristina Gheorghiţă
Production: Roxana Tunăreanu, Cristian Tunăreanu / Green Advertising
Organization in Spain: Laura Acosta, Joan Sanabria
Photos: Ştefan Tuchilă, Andrei Mărgulescu, Florin Andreescu, Ştefan Ghenciulescu, Bogdan Vitec, Artexpo – Mihai Oroveanu archive, archive of Luminiţa Machedon & Florin Machedon, archive of the The Union of Architects in Romania, Marius, archive of the Museum of the Romanian Peasant – MŢR, Graphic Studio, Starh, Robert David (Ideal Decor).
English translation: Magda Teodorescu;
Translations into Spanish: Roxana Gălbeneanu, Justin Baroncea, Carmen Popescu;
Translations into Catalan: Justin Baroncea, Carmen Popescu, Victor Centellas;

Authors of the designs in the exhibition: Vladimir Arsene, Călin Negoescu, Onar Gereiloglu, Lucia Stoll, Zzing Lee, Cristiana Ştefan, Cristina Găleată, Son Nguyen, Iulian Dumitriu (Westfourth Architecture);
Horia Bernea, Irina Nicolau (MȚR);
Adrian Cancer, Robert Marin (Square One);
Ina Cocioaba, Irina Ionescu (City Project);
Horia Creangă;
Adrian Cristescu (West Group);
Ascanio Damian, Mircea Enescu, Octav Doicescu, Carol Hacker, Paraschiva Iubu, Ştefan Lungu, Costin Pastia, Ştefan Perianu, Petre Swoboda;
Horea Gavriş, Marius Marcu (MB Studio);
Marcel Iancu;
Nemes Karoly, Dragoş Perju, Remus Hârşan (Graphic Studio);
Duiliu Marcu;
Dan Marin, Zeno Bogdănescu;
Ion Mincu;
Nicolae Kepes;
Emil Barbu Popescu;
Roxana Roşca, Marius Călin (Zip Studio);
Adrian Spirescu (Carpaţi Proiect);
Florian Stanciu, Iulia Stanciu (Starh);
Şerban Sturdza, Andreea Hangiu, Doina Sturdza (Prodid);
Andrei Şerbescu, Andrei Untaru (ADNBA);
Dorin Ştefan, Anda Ştefan (DSBA);
Radu Teacă (Artline).

With thanks to: Grupo Vía, Silvia Puig, MetRoom, Beth Galí, Arquinfad, Ana Fernández, Quim Larrea, Silvia Farriol, Foment de les Arts Decoratives (FAD), Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona (ETSAB), Cololegio Oficial d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC), Mihai Oroveanu, Luminiţa Machedon, Florin Machedon, MŢR, Ideal Decor.