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urban planning office

Architecture + Urban Planning, Traditional rural housing in Alba county, RO

Project name/ Architecture + Urbanism, Traditional rural housing in Alba county


project location/ Alba county

project type/ Publication

year/ 2014

client/ Alba county council


Coordonator publicație: BARBIERI Marius

Coordonator Consiliul Județean Alba: arhitect șef CJ Alba Eugenia Mărginean

Autori: BARBIERI Marius, DAMIAN Laura, DAMIAN Alexandru

Istoric: MIRCEA Gligor

Consultant etnografic Țara Moților: cercetător dr. GOIA Ioan Augustin

Studii de teren, relevee și ilustrații : arh. BARBIERI Marius, urb. DAMIAN Laura, urb. DAMIAN Alexandru, stag. arh. DRAGOMIR Amalia, stud. arh. DUMITRU Adrian


Grafică și tehnoredactare: Urban Synapse 


Other team members:

arh. Oana ȚIGANEA, arh. Doina NISTOR, arh. Florin NISTOR, stud. arh. JOLDEŞ Mihai Mădălin, stud. arh. Radu Florin SABĂU, stud. arh. Oana POPESCU, stud. arh. Alexandra SUCIU, stud. arh. Marius BUCEA, arh. urb. Roxana TRIBOI, ing. peis. Nicolas TRIBOI, ing. peis. Jonathan DUBOIS, soc. Simona ZĂRNESCU, ist. Călin ȘUTEU, ist. Radu TOTOIANU, stud. peis. Theophile VALLE


Beneficiar: Consiliu Judeţean Alba

Direcția Amenajarea Teritoriului și Urbanism


Elaborator proiect: Capitel Proiect S.R.L.

Grafică și tehnoredactare: Urban Synapse .


Uniunea Arhitecţilor din Romania, Filiala Alba


Imagini: Toate fotografiile și ilustrațiile utilizate în acest album fac parte din arhiva fotografică a SC Capitel Proiect SRL și SC Urban Synapse SRL-D  Toate drepturile sunt rezervate. Excepție fac imaginile la care este menționat creditul fotografic.


Nominated for the National Architecture Bucharest Biennale, 2014, 11th edition, 

Publications Section

The various changes in the fields of agriculture, forestry, industry, as well as the evolution of the human way of life, have a tendency to modify, transform or even alter the natural landscape in a way that is aggressive most of the time, both for the urban environment, but especially for the rural environment.

That is why, the promotion of the rural heritage has become a priority for the Alba County Council, because this county has multiple areas containing remarkable landscapes and unique architectural values.

The reasons leading to the emergence of this publication which promotes rural heritage, are represented by the improper paths of development in the rural environment, whose transformation started to intensify in recent years.

The mutations occurring in the lifestyle of the locas, their wish to modernize their homes for enhanced comfort, the constant evolution in construction materials (new means, materials, colours), the lack of understanding of local communities on how the cultural landscape may influence the development of villages, but also the strong demographic movement and the pressure of the adjacent urban areas (in need of leisure in natural surroundings), have brought in new comfort standards and foreign architecture features, having a strong negative impact on the rural cultural landscape.


This album, exhibiting the rural areas with an increased value and strong identity, illustrates the features which give specificity to these areas, having a background research that contains the whole of Alba County. Urban settlements are not covered by this study, because its main topic refers to housing and its influence in rural settlements.

Field studies have included all of the areas with potential vernacular values, the team having visited all the communes in the county. By doing that, we were able to realistically identify theareas with a high concentration of values  embodied in cultural  heritage.

The structure of this publication had the purpose of decomposing the traditional village into several basic components which generate specificity, starting with the description of general elements (landscape, plot system, public space) and getting into more detailed elements (materials, colors, roof, woodwork).

Based on our field experience, we consider that a good method of promoting vernacular architecture would be the apparition of several models of good practice, through restoration and change of function, which would generate profit for the owner. Taking into account the fact that the rural economy is in an advanced state of decline, these positive examples would rapidly spread, and the promise of future income would motivate the locals to restore and adapt their traditional old houses without altering their aesthetic and historical value.

The role of this publication is to illustrate and synthesize the architectural features of the rural settlements, in order to become a starting point for the potential restoration of rural heritage.

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