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House And City. Children Environmental Experience

Part 1 Dissertation 2001
Ana Maria Goilav
Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism | Romania
I have written this work following one of the most striking realities of the actual Romanian society - that is 'homelessness' - and a personal interest in what I would call the house and city 'partnership' in one's lifetime experience. It is 'companion work', attached to my pilot project of a day-care centre for the 'street children' in Bucharest.
I have tried to give a realistic perspective of the vivid house - the very 'home' - an intimately private possession within a huge territory that is the city.
The 'characters' are mainly children - or basicly children, since the 'grown-up' is but a'grown-up kid'; they are to bring back the inexhaustible joy of living -'dwelling' the anonimous place and consacrating the Home. The fragile 'perceiver' has to cope with an extremely variable environment; the aggressiveness or the aggressive indiference of the street shatter the domestic instincts and the natural reliance on them. Serious questions are issued - How could the domestic arts be restored? How could a 'sewer kid' wish again a home? What kind of home?...he knows how 'private and 'cosy' the street is. Nevertheless, acccording to one of my old professors and to me, we have been all, equally, 'street children', we have all enjoyed the street games and details - corners, windows, doorways, slabs...
The pleasantly utopic idea of conceiving a city for children's needs is just to emphasize the 'lost poetry' of our twenty-first century cities. I have sketched a parallel view of a few different European locations.
This work was meant to help me identifying means to reinforce the value of the home in one's cousciousness. Children are a peculiar occasion to understand again the city and the house. Doubtlessly, to understand our own everyday unconfessed needs and frustrations.

Ana Maria Goilav

In a country with such obvious and exposed problems regarding the social aspects of public space (handicaped persons, foster children and so on), one might wonder why the architects are not more sensible to these issues rather than to building banks and private villas. One reason is money: you don't get payed enough to make a decent living by involving in social issues. The second is a sort of a cynical 'retreat' from the dangerous life of public/social projects, where local architects ended up by designing the shameful House of the Republic before 1989.
It came as a surprise that Ana-Maria Goilav has by herself became involved in investigating the child-related architectural programs. She did it for her licence paper as well as for her diploma design project. Both are not only singular in their approach, but also in the quality of the methodology and results. She has obviously investigated an ample and relatively up-to-date bibliography and has managed to come up with conclusions that are fitted into the local Romanian context. In doing that, she looked at several questions pertaining to modern and contemporary architecture like 'play', 'intimacy' vs 'public identity'.
I have strongly recommended her work and appreciated it then as I still do now. I hope these few words will suffice to recommend not just an interesting and articulate young architect, but also a fascinatingly active and dependable person.

dr. Augustin IOAN

for regular mail, please use my address:
Augustin IOAN, PhD
P.O.Box 1-507 Bucharest, Romania
cell ph. 4094.317.826

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