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2020 Cat Arch


The Romanian Communist Museum

1. The Rationale

The idea of Romanian Communist Museum appeared within the Romanian society from the first days of freedom that followed the fall of Communism in 1989. The first ideas were to create an exhibition space that would be hosted within the House of the People (the symbol of a criminal megalomania that needed to be cleansed). For a long period, the Communist Museum never got past the initial ideas, failing to materialize either as a result of the lack in interest or due to the lack of finance. (Preda,2015).

According to the Institute for the Investigation of the Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile, the necessity of a Romanian Communist Museum is based on two main aspects:

  • The lack of interest shown by the young generations towards the recent history as a result of the failure of the educational system (failure to present recent historical facts).
  • To strengthen the rule of freedom and democracy by presenting detailed knowledge of the totalitarian regime.

As a result, to Museum should not be seen as a window to the past but instead as a window to the future. The project is meant to materialise the right to one’s collective memory and a dignified life. (IICCMER, 2006).

2. Design Factors

  • The R. C. M. (Romanian Communist Museum) needs to address all aspects of life under the control of the Communist Regime: from the prison system to daily fear and censorship.
  • The R.C.M. needs to present the communist history through the eyes of the people and the victims who lived under its regime.
  • The R.C.M needs to be connected to the other museums and memorials that exist in Romania in order to be part of the National network.
  • The R.C.M. should not be a place that would fuel hatred towards the Communist rule, but more important, should be a place that fuels the love for freedom.
  • The purpose of the R.C.M is not only to inform the young generations about the recent communist past but equally, to encourage the construction of a better future.
  • The proposed site is situated at the intersection between Splaiul Independenței with Bulevardul Libertăţii [Freedom’s Boulevard]. From the site both the Holocaut Memorial and the House of the People can be viewed. A visual connection needs to be established in order to create a cultural trail.
  • The building will be based on a concrete structure with concrete cores. Concrete will be material of choice as it was the preferred construction material during the Communist era.

3. Spaces

  • Ground floor Café area open to the public. The space will also incorporate the waiting area that will be used by the visitors at the beginning of the tour
  • The R.C.M will host a permanent exhibition that will incorporate themes such as: The Communist Doctrine, The Subjugation of Power in Romania, the Security Service as a tool of the Communist Party, The Incarceration, the Peasants and the Land Collectivisation, Demographic Politics, External Politics, Daily Life, The Revolution of 1989.
  • The R.C.M will host a temporary exhibition that will be dedicated to the Communist Regime in other states that were part of the Soviet Union.
  • The R.C.M. will also have workshops open to the public, meant to educate and inform on the taboos of Communism.
  • A secondary temporary exhibition will be dedicated to the working man during Communist party. The exhibition will present the life and responsibilities of different men that were employed either in the Heavy Industries or that were occupying different public functions within the Romanian society of that time.
  • An Auditorium that will host lecturers, public speakers and Historians that either studied Communism or that were the victims of the regime. The Auditorium can also be booked by Universities.
  • Bicycle loan & shop
  • The site can be accessed by both bus and the underground system. As a result, a limited number of car parking will be provided off site.