Gradina Divan Bucharest
Meetings of Design Students, Bucharest, 2016
two-week workshop with Calup
The workshop was a collaboration between MEDS, Calup and the National Heritage Institute in Bucharest. Targovet House is a historical monument of national importance and one of the oldest houses in Bucharest. Before undergoing restoration works to be reopened as a public relations centre for the National Heritage Institute after 6 years of being closed to the public, the aim of the workshop was to design a temporary use solution for the garden and the cellar. With an international group of architecture and design students we developed and tested prototypes before building the final designs ourselves. The garden was conceived as a multifunctional area for different social events and is divided into three areas with distinctive atmospheres; a cosy nook by the entrance, hidden from the path leading up to the garden, a herb and flower garden by the small stairway leading up to the house and the main socialising area in front of the entrance to the cellar. For the garden we designed a modular seating system called ‘the flying carpet’ which can be arranged in different ways together with portable wooden planter boxes and ottoman stools made from recycled materials. In the cellar, we created an illuminated spatial installation. Only when the visitors approach it and peek through the small holes they are able to see the exhibits on the walls behind which brings a sense of discovery to the experience. The project did not interfere with the structure of the house, however we also did some repair works on the existing concrete path and stairs connecting the veranda to the garden. Furthermore, we reused some of the abandoned furniture found inside the house as decorations in the garden. From 17-18 September 2016 during the European Heritage Days, the house hosted it’s first public event, attracting more than 700 visitors, who enjoyed the last days of summer in the friendly atmosphere of the house and the garden.