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Manuc’s Inn Restoration: Wood and Natural Stone

publicat in: Interviews // Publicata pe 27.03.2018

Manuc’s Inn, one of the most important historic monuments in Bucharest, was built 200 years ago by the Armenian merchant Manuc Bei. The building was neglected during the Communist and post-communist era, however a larger restoration project was initiated in 2007, aimed at preserving all the features of Brancovenesc architectural style. First of all the commercial premises were restored, followed by the restoration project for the hotel. In here, we will present some of the details for this restoration project: what type of material is used, the renovation of bathrooms and the concept to be applied for the hotel rooms.

This vast restoration process of Manuc's Inn is meant to reinstate the former beauty of this architectural landmark.

What is the status of restoration works so far?

"First of all, this restoration project is an endeavor for us, because the space it’s been a couple of years already since the beginning. Our architect, Andrei Doja, has been working for over five years on the area of interior, sanitary and water supply, thermal, electrical and the actual restoration project, which is essential (..) All that we could recover from the beams and the flor was already attempted, and where it is possible we have a 100% recovery rate. The interior carpentry was restored in several areas, where it was worn out, with the restoration preserving the Brancovenesc architectural style" says Alexandra Puiu, the interior designer in charge with this project.

Dinu Cantacuzino, the owner of Manuc's Inn, says, "The wood (and it's a lot of wood here) was painted with glossy brown paint with some oil on the outside. Every manager thought he knew better and bought cheaper materials. It should be cleaned, brought to the natural color of the wood and covered with matt lacquer for wood, colorless or linseed oil. "

How do you define the Brancovenesc architectural style?

Brancovenesc architectural style is recognized today as the first Romanian style and is recognized by the revealing outer stairs, watchtowers and the opulent decoration of facades, columns and balustrades, which outlines vegetal patterns. This style was introduced by the Horezu Monastery, founded by Constantin Brancoveanu, at that time the style combined the existing Romanian art: stone sculpture, ornamental flowers patterns, plastered facades and arched decorations with Oriental decorations, made of natural stone and mosaic. In Bucharest, other buildings with the Romanian Brancovenesc style are the Antim Monastery, the Vacaresti Monastery and the Stavropoleos and Kretzulescu churches.

The restoration project of Manuc’s Inn has been carefully taken care of in the authentic architectural mark: from the materials used up to the final look and the details of the furniture or other decorations, everything will reflect accurately the original style of the building.

Manuc's Inn, painted in 1860 by Lancelot. Source: Wikipedia

"The fact that the Russian-Turkish peace treaty was signed here in 1812, and the Russian, Turkish and French officers stayed here for 6 months or a year ... There were also rich merchants who sold their goods here and generally brought in their favorite furniture: they were not pleased with the Inn’s furniture when they spent plenty time here and that's why I came up with the idea of decorating the rooms differently: not standard but different" says Dinu Cantacuzino.

Each hotel room will be decorated to match the famous personalities of the time, each with an atypical fingerprint that will reinterpret the stories witnessed by this inn: "There will be only 33 bathrooms, each bathroom will have another style, I could say atypical. I think we'll use over 20 types of natural stone: each bathroom having its own color and stone texture “ explains Alexandra.

The Inn’s bathrooms, made of natural stone

The design has took into account the use of contrasting elements for the bathrooms, with the help of different textures of natural stone. Oriental shapes are smoothed by sculptural wash basins, made of natural stone, with simple and classic lines.

"We choose the natural stone: some of the collections are classic, some are modern. For the new bathrooms we are building now, we used a mix of classic and modern, we also used mosaic but an atypical mosaic made of cork stoppers, that is, we have brought in other elements. I decided for the stone with the purpose of not standing out of Inn’s style, while maintaining the authenticity of the place (..) It is good to know that any limestone can be used in commercial spaces as long as the surface is waterproofed (such as the room’s bathrooms and those serving the Voievodal Salon and restaurants). The floor is treated with a waterproofing agent. And it is up to you how far you want to go with the waterproofing procedure. For example you can also include a layer of epoxy resin" explains Alexandra. 

For further details on the natural stone suitable for your project, give us a call at +40318.222.333, or email at export@piatraonline.com!

Manuc’s Inn Restoration: Wood and Natural Stone
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