Conversion of the Imperial Officer`s Casino
Dealu Frumos is special because of it`s two buildings designed by Fritz Balthes, the community hall annexed to the fortified church and the former casino of the Imperial Officers. In my thesis I approach the creation of the cultural route to discover this architect and the architecture he designed, yet of course the reactivation of this village through the conversions of the former casino. At the same time, a restoration is not sustainable unless the people around the monuments are involved in one way or another in the story of the buildings. In Dealu Frumos we are faced with a situation in which we have isolated “communities”, but with a possibility for them to coagulate. At the same time, we cannot talk about heritage and architecture while social problems are much bigger, otherwise we end up in an idyllic situation, in which the reality differs from what we promote. The elaboration of this diploma project was a long and extensive process which began long ago, as a volunteer in the project „Ambulance for Monuments” in Transylvania and as a student in the summer schools in the region, which brought me multiple opportunities to visit Dealu Frumos. Thereby, through the multiple discussion with Mrs. Gerhild Rudolf, UAUIM and with several specialists I had the occasion to address in this project subjects from the social domain, from a sustainable point of view and from an ethical point of view on what a creative restoration means. The project theme was based on creating a symbol of the activists of this region, the former casino being brought back to the function of an inn. Thus, this inn will become an action center for the environmental protection of this region, and it will also become an agrobusiness with a local gastronomical point. The inn will have accommodation, a restaurant, workshops and research areas, a micro-museum for the discovery of the architect Fritz Balthes and together with the former community hall will become a cultural and social project, in which the participants of the after school will benefit. The ambition of this reconversion is to create a starting point of the discovery of this architect, through the micro museum in the inn in which the tourists can discover the characteristic elements of his architecture on an concrete example, following the discovery of his architecture in this region. First, we need social programs to foster civic involvement, education about what sustainability means and to bring to the fore the current problems of our time, of biodiversity, climate, etc.
Author's presentation text
Simona Iovănescu is a recent graduate of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism in Timișoara, having as her thesis topic "Conversion of the former Casino of the Imperial Officers" in Dealu Frumos. She is currently part of the coordination team of the project "Ambulance for Monuments - Banat", and over time she has participated in various summer schools to learn as much as possible about architecture, heritage and restoration methods. Her first contact with restoration was during the summer school of the restoration of the wooden church in Crivina de Sus, where she realized that history, ethics, theory and craft meet.