Galeria 1

The place and theme – a disused industrial site, not far from the historic center of Timisoara, across a major
thoroughfare from the north. The large site was gradually converted to commercial use through sham READ MORE

Galeria 1

The place and theme – a disused industrial site, not far from the historic center of Timisoara, across a major
thoroughfare from the north. The large site was gradually converted to commercial use through sham
conversions, typical for the 1990s, of the existing halls.

The appearance of the «Iulius Mall» (architect Radu Mihailescu) determined the investors, owners of the
industrial site, to convert the main hall into a commercial center, of special kind in Romania: a «design
center» with a view to the center; that was supposed to offer ample show-room areas, perfectly equipped to
exhibit furniture, decorations, design products reflecting the recent real estate boom.
The hall – initially meant for processing meat, offered 5,000 sqm on each storey. The uniform reinforced
structure of 6x6 m – done in the 1970s – was severely damaged during a fire and due to the industrial processes it sheltered. The upper floor was compartmentalized so as the «cells» produced split-levels of 40 cm.

The solution complied with the chosen goal: to produce free areas for showrooms with the state-of-the
art equipment considering the flawed structure. The hardly efficient structure was consolidated with carbon
fiber strips to avoid the weight. Four big, rigid reinforced concrete tubes, sheltering the vertical circulation
(staircase and elevators), utilities, and services – were distributed in the lateral bays, two by two, like the legs of
a table, thus making the ensemble rigid without further interventions. Two ample voids, covered with skylights,
were done in the upper floors; one of them contains the escalators; a fountain focuses the perception of the
space. In the ample false ceiling, there is a massive «mattress» with installations and equipment for climatic
control, all sorts of cables, power networks, light, security, and surveillance. The floor of the upper level was leveled with light concrete containing polystyrene aggregates, while the lateral brick closures were replaced by
sandwich panels.

The bar code and night-lights The lateral closures, pierced by numerous installations, were draped by a secondary façade of white-blue polycarbonate strips, graphically organized as an immense bar code – graphical symbol of commerce. The front façade – one that ensures the access – is «draped» in a huge red and black metal structure, shaped like a gigantic «Z» whose lower side makes the canopy above the entrance. The luminous letters of the logo «drift» on a large double net painted in matte black. By night, the
entire ensemble turns into a big Japanese lampion, with the white-blue panels lit from behind and red letters
floating like some self-contained hieroglyphs against the nocturnal sky, while their matte background dissolves in the dark.

TEAM

Architect: Ioan Andreescu, Dan M. Munteanu

Location: Timisoara, Romania

Client: S.C. METALTIM S.A.

Building period: 2002 - 2005