Popescu Mariana
Chisinau, Moldova

Within the diploma project, I have imagined a perfect scenario, in which both Guguță Cafe and Patria Cinema are brought back to the public domain, becoming the main pieces of connection between a new cultural ensemble and the Public Garden. The idea of the diploma project is to create a launch pad, a space that would become the catalyst for aspirations towards asserting the city’s identity, generating an urban environment conducive to and shaping a strong local identity.

The proposed space is based on the idea of mixed use of space and its interconnection, forming a transparent environment and reintegrating the buildings that until now barred the access from the intersection of M. Cebotari Street with Bul. Stephen the Great in the Stephen the Great Public Garden. The proposed public space reopens the access to the central area of the garden and at the same time forms a new meeting and accumulation place, a role that the public garden has always had.

The purpose of the intervention is to make known the history of the city of Chisinau and its issues, bringing to the public’s attention the need to preserve the unitary identity character and the protection of the historical center. Through the proposed intervention, Cafeneaua Guguță and Cinematograful Patria would become centers of interest in the area, and the newly created ensemble could animate the cultural life of the city and the potential to create community links between inhabitants divided by the historical past and the feeling of attachment to the city.

The conceptual combination of architectural monuments, symbols of significant historical periods of the city, the Soviet period (Cafeneaua Guguță) and interwar (Patria Cinema), reunites the historical urban space in a new temporal axis past – present – future by introducing a contemporary building with cultural functions. The past being represented by the existing historical buildings, the present by the proposed intervention, and the future by the potential of functional readjustment of the place and its recontextualization from an identitarian point of view.

The collective memory of the place and the strong historical load (as a symbol of the national liberation movement) can be revived by proposing literary functions and activities – bookstore, recital hall (in the past, here activating the literary circle Alexei Mateevici).

Cafeneaua Guguță will also resume its role as a consecrated meeting place in the city, and the proposed new ensemble contributes to accentuate this fact by establishing an urban plaza with sitting places and arrangements for film screenings, making the public space accesible for all age groups.

The central element, which will link all the functions, will be a museum of the city, which would have exactly the role of evoking the spirit of identity in each of its visitors, having the potential to be treated as a gateway to the museum circuit of the city, thanks the favorable location within the city center, as well as the way in which the interconnection of the elements of the proposed ensemble is conceived.

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