socially distanced – Windows looking (and listening) to nature where I resided

Maria Bostenaru Dan, Romania – Working Group 4


There is a photography exhibition on the occasion of the Day of the monument (18th April) by Esempi di Architettura with the landscape in frame of the window. It in includes photos and text. Unlike it, for an exhibition in lock down time of the Friends of Bucharest Association, one should include a photo and sound. A friend was telling me that now since the lockdown, she can hear the birds singing, instead of the noise of the bar on street level. She lives on the 4th floor in a block in Milan. Different to her, I’ve been living all my life (with one exception) surrounded by nature. Starting with the block of flats my parents moved shortly after my birth and where I am living now again: it is a postwar neighborhood in the style promoted by Le Corbusier in Bucharest, Romania. Blocks are in the middle of green, and alleys (mine: Aleea Barajul Sadului) are in the middle of green, there are no streets as we know them, since Le Corbusier inverted the empty and the full in the plan. I always hear birds singing in summer mornings, and crickets in the evening. The landscape on my window is now not much different, only more cars in the parking since people don’t travel. Vacations I’ve spent in Carei, 3 months a year. My grandmother had a huge garden, and the street was called Duzilor, after the mulberry trees on it. When I was 22, I moved to Karlsruhe, Germany, to study. I stayed in a student dormitory called HaDiKo. This was built also in the 1960s-70s like the neighborhood (Balta Alba) where I live in Bucharest, in the north east of the city middle in the forest. Only on one side out of four of the 5 buildings assembly of the student dormitory there were buildings: a Siedlung for Russian Germans. On the other 3 sides there was the forest, shortly after starting the Waldstadt (the forest city) of Karlsruhe. Karlsruhe has been designed as planned city in the baroque time, and the campus is in the forest which remained in all north of city. There is a doctorate about the forest and the city at my diploma co-referent. My practice I did in Darmstadt, and Germans are fond of forests. In Sintra, Portugal, a German king made the park to be a forest. In Darmstadt, where I did my practice, I lived in a house on Mümlingweg, on Eberstadt. It was the last house before the forest started, but still a neighbor moved inside the forest, in a Fachwerkhouse. As said, in Italy first, when I went on the exchange, I was unlucky to have a tangent of the motorway close, but second time I went to Pavia I lived at the edge of the rice fields so typical for Pavia (via don Minzoni, away from the main street, on the corner of a church as typical for Italy). On my window I saw cherry trees. I was in the ground floor, and again I heard the crickets in summer. The next time I was in Italy, 8 years later, for my postdoc in Rome, I heard again the crickets in summer, from the 2nd floor. The Accademia di Romania was close to villa Borghese, and the surrounding park, being built along with other foreign culture institutes after an exhibition in that area, instead of the pavilions. No moving cars again, as in Bucharest.

my window in Pavia
my window in Karlsruhe
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