Renovation | Romania (ongoing)

A fascinating story of a house being returned to the son of the original owner, after Romania joined the EU. The house and artists studio are now open for holiday lets and are situated conveniently close to beautiful Transylvania. It is well worth a visit. 

The house had been requisitioned by the communist government after WWII. It was then converted into a school and the majority of the interiors and gardens were destroyed by the new State owners. The house was in a very sorry state when our client first returned to see his former family home and the main area of the formal garden had been turned into football pitches. Collective farm buildings had been built not far from the main house, some of which had become derelict. We were commissioned to create a master-plan with which our client could slowly formulate new gardens and restore the, (nationally significant) arboretum, over a number of years. The client wanted to maintain the communist buildings to inform of the modern history of the estate. Brainstorming sessions have offered possible uses for these and the beautiful old maze drying barn, known as a Hambar. Future garden plans will accommodate their uses. 

The first aim has been to restore the house and update it so it can be used for holiday lets and a family holiday home. Historic photographs have guided a sympathetic garden layout around the house, which echoes some of the past design, but is not faithful to this, due to the high maintenance nature of the historic designs. Historic views have been restored through the trees, to the landscape beyond, an historic view to the church tower has been opened up again and the long lost drive has been restored along the church boundary wall. Works have commenced to clear self-seeded woodland which had grown up to crowd the few remnant ornamental tree specimens. The arboretum is being restored with new specimens of note, which can survive the extremes of climate found in this part of Romania. Garden areas are being implemented around the house, ready for the first guests. We feel very privileged to be involved in such an exciting project, driven by the wonderful enthusiasm of our client. All works are being undertaken by a team of conservation architects from Bucharest, local craftsmen and forestry workers, who seem to be relishing the chance to help restore the estate to a semblance of its former glory.